The Unjust Justice Department Strikes Again

Integrity should not be a partisan issue, but unfortunately in the Eric Holder Justice Department it is. Yesterday’s Washington Times reported that the Justice Department has blocked a full investigation concerning corruption charges against Senate Democrat Harry Reid and Senate Republican Mike Lee.

The article reports:

The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News.

But the Justice Department’s public integrity section — which normally handles corruption cases involving elected figures — rejected FBI agents’ bid to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine whether the accusations are true and whether any federal crimes were committed by state and federal officials.

Please follow the link to the article to see the details of the charges and the lack of cooperation from the Justice Department.

It does neither political party good to have corrupt people remain in office and not be held accountable for their misdeeds. It would behoove the Justice Department to move forward with both of these investigations and either convict or clear the air.

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Some Sad News From The Entertainment World

ABC News is reporting today that Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson’s Disease and as a result has lost her ability to sing. Linda Ronstadt had a truly beautiful singing voice. She could do rock and roll, country, traditional songs and operetta. She provided part of the soundtrack of my early twenties, and later I thoroughly enjoyed her performance in Pirates of Penzance. I wish her the best and hope a cure for the disease is found soon. Her beautiful voice will be missed.

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The Attorney General Will Investigate the Department Of Justice And Report To The President On July 12th

ABC News is reporting that President Obama has ordered the Department of Justice to review the national security leak investigations. So Attorney General Eric Holder will be conducting a 45-day review on the Department of Justice’s guidelines for handling these investigations.

The article states:

And then the news: “I have raised these issues with the attorney general, who shares my concern. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I have directed the attorney general to report back to me by July 12th.”

So Eric Holder is going to investigate Eric Holder. This should be interesting. We all know how that will turn out.

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Using Scare Tactics To Discourage Whistleblowers

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.

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I Wondered About This When I First Heard It

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.

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Rearranging The Deck Chairs On The Titanic

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.

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I’d Love To See The Guest List

Yesterday Breitbart.com reported that the White House announced that it would hold a meeting to brief reporters on Benghazi. The meeting was initially referred to by Politico as ‘off-the-record,’ but the White House changed that to ‘deep background.’ I agree that the word deep is probably a good description, but background is not the word I would place after it.

Fourteen news organizations were invited to the closed-door meeting.

Politico reported yesterday:

The meeting was conducted on “deep background,” according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, but sources told POLITICO that the existence of the meeting was “off the record.” The meeting began around 12:45 p.m. and postponed the daily, on-the-record White House press briefing until mid-afternoon.

The session was announced to reporters in the wake of an ABC News report showing that White House and State Dept. officials were involved in revising the now-discredited CIA talking points about the attack on Benghazi.

I would love to see which fourteen news organizations were invited to the meeting! Can you imagine what would have happened if Nixon had tried this with Watergate?

Breitbart.com tells us what to look for as a result of this meeting:

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “Deep background means that the info presented by the briefers can be used in reporting but the briefers can’t be quoted.” So expect a fair number of “White House sources” to appear in reportage for the next few days.

Four people died at Benghazi because they did not have adequate security, and when they asked for help they did not get it. Later the Obama Administration lied about what happened. Also, remember that the man who made the video that was not responsible for the attack is the only person in jail as a result of the attack. He is still in jail. It’s time to stop playing games and explain what happened.

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When Is A War Injury Not A War Injury ?

On Friday, ABC News reported that as a result of an ABC news investigative report regarding the shootings at Fort Hood, Republicans in Congress are asking for more information on how the aftermath of the attack was handled. At issue is the Obama Administration’s decision to charge Major Nidal Hasan with ‘workplace violence’ instead of terrorism. That decision has a great deal of impact on those who were victims of the attack.

The decision that the shooting was ‘workplace violence’ prevents those shot by Major Hasan from being awarded purple hearts. It also gives the surviving victims lower priority when it comes to receiving medical care and a loss of benefits available to soldiers whose injuries are considered combat related. Because the shootings were considered workplace violence, they are not considered combat related.

The article reports:

Thirteen people were killed, including a pregnant soldier, and 32 others shot in the Nov. 5, 2009 rampage by the accused gunman, Maj. Nidal Hasan, at the Army base in Killeen, Texas. Hasan, who was in communication with al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack, now awaits a military trial on charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder. Al-Awlaki has since been killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen, in what was termed a major victory in the U.S. efforts against al Qaeda.

It is bad enough that Major Hasan pretty much broadcast ahead of time that he had gone over the edge–some of his lectures, his business cards, etc. He was not reported because no one was willing to take the chance of being called a racist or anti-Muslim. Because no one came forward, thirteen soldiers died as Hasan shouted, “Allahu Akbar.” It seems to me that it should be rather obvious to even the most naive member of the Obama Administration that most people who commit workplace violence don’t shout, “Allahu Akbar,” and that shout might have something to do with a motive for the killings.

Meanwhile, American soldiers and their families pay a price because the Obama Administration does not want to admit that Major Hasan is an example of a domestic terrorists in our military.

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Let’s Put The Budget Together Right After The Company Christmas Party

Putting the budget together for a business right after the company Christmas party is ridiculous, right? Well, evidently the United Nations has done that consistently in the past.

ABC News posted a story today quoting Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella, who represents the U.S. on the U.N.’s budget committee.

The story reports:

Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella, who represents the U.S. on the U.N.’s budget committee, said Monday that the tense process of negotiating the world body’s annual budget is made more complicated by the number of diplomats who turn up drunk.

The U.N. budget is finalized in December, when holiday parties apparently lead to some revelry spilling over into budget negotiations.

The U.S. is making “the modest proposal that the negotiating rooms should in future be an inebriation-free zone,” Torsella said during a private meeting of the budget committee. The U.S. mission released a transcript of his remarks.

It’s mostly American money, so why should they worry?Enhanced by Zemanta

If The Truth Is Not Repeated Often Enough The Lie Will Take Over

Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted an article with a quote from Dan Rather on the supposed National Guard documents concerning George W. Bush.

Dan Rather is quoted as saying:

Number 1 – the facts of case are not in dispute.

Number 2 – no one had ever established that the documents were forged (those who attack them argued that we didn’t do enough to demonstrate that they were not forged) The whole documents argument was a camouflage – what was described in the documents was factual. As for the trap argument — could have been, might have been but nobody has ever proven that. What I know, all I know, is we reported a true story. Whatever you think of the documents, facts are facts.

Yes, Mr. Rather, facts are facts. First of all, the charges against President Bush have never been proven. Second of all, the fact that the documents were forged has been proven.

The article includes comments by Font expert Thomas Phinney, who has built a career on typography:

I am on the left wing of the political spectrum, and I am also a typography expert who was quoted twice in the Washington Post about the memos, and approached by ABC News to get my opinion on the topic. TL;DR: they were blatant forgeries.

…The assertion that all the attacks on the Bush National Guard story were “partisan political” attacks is nonsense. I voted against Bush in both elections, and I donated money to his opponents. But that doesn’t change my assertion that the memos were clear forgeries. None of the hundreds of typographers who have come to one of my presentations has even tried to collect the $1000 reward I have repeatedly offered to anybody who can produce a device, available in 1972, that could have produced those memos. (The Selectric Composer and the IBM Executive typewriter are not plausible candidates, btw.)

It’s an old story, but I guess it needs to be retold occasionally. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” In this case at least we have the information to refute the lie.Enhanced by Zemanta

Something To Make This Weekend A Little Better

This is not a new story, but it is something that I just came across. It gives me hope for the future.

On October 5, 2012, the Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) reported on the crowning of the Homecoming Queen at Bishop Hartley High School, a Roman Catholic school on the East Side of town. Megan Ryan was elected Homecoming Queen by her classmates. Megan has Down syndrome.

The article reports:

Her fellow seniors chose their outgoing, ever-smiling classmate from among 10 nominees (with Jacob Smith selected king ).

“I’m so thrilled for her,” said senior Sam Burgess, a member of the court. “She just has a great personality. She’s like a sister to me.”

Aside from the fact that this is a heartwarming story, there is another aspect to this that encourages me. In November 2009 ABC News reported:

“An estimated 92 percent of all women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to terminate their pregnancies, according to research reviewed by Dr. Brian Skotko, a pediatric geneticist at Children’s Hospital Boston.

The students at Bishop Hartley High School saw Megan as a person having value. Although I understand that raising a child with Down syndrome is extremely challenging, that does not negate the fact that the child is a human being and has value because he or she is a human being. It gives me hope that these students were able to see Megan as a person who was worthy of the honor of Homecoming Queen.

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What In The World Happened In Libya ?

There are numerous sources for this article–CNN today, Politico today, ABC News today and Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. The stories are similar, but they way the facts are laid out is slightly different.

CNN reports:

According to one of the Libyan security guards who was stationed at one of the gates armed with only a radio, the assault began simultaneously from three directions.

Heavy machine guns and rocket -propelled grenades were used, according to the guard. He said masked men threatened to kill him at gunpoint for ‘protecting the infidels. He declined to appear on camera for fear of repercussions.

ABC News reports:

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi last week was not premeditated, directly contradicting top Libyan officials who say the attack was planned in advance.

“Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo,” Rice told me this morning on “This Week.”

Just for the record, I am not convinced that three-pronged attacks begin spontaneously.

Hot Air reports:

About 50 arrests have been made in connection with the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in which the American Ambassador and three other consulate employees were killed, and some of the suspects involved are from outside the country, Libya’s president told CBS News.

In an interview for “Face the Nation” Sunday, President Mohamed Magariaf also said that evidence “leaves us with no doubt” that the attack was pre-planned.

“It was planned, definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their arrival,” he told Bob Schieffer.

Politico reports:

Libya President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf said Sunday that 50 arrests have been made in connection with last week’s “preplanned” attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

“The way these perpetrators acted and moved — I think we, and they’re choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think we have no, this leaves us with no doubt that this was pre-planned, determined,” Magariaf said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Unfortunately, because we are in the ‘silly season’ which precedes an election, the American media is not telling us the full story. The British newspapers have posted many more details and stories behind what has happened. The thing to remember here is very simple, “It isn’t about a movie.” The movie on YouTube was not helpful in America’s relationship with Muslims, but how many Muslims do you believe have actually seen the movie? How many of the people attacking American embassies around the world have access to the Internet?

At some point in time we need to understand that Muslims who support the idea of a world-wide caliphate do not like America. Our freedom is a threat to their plans. They consider us as ‘the great Satan.’ That fact has not changed, despite the efforts of President Obama. It will not change. It is taught to Muslim children from birth. Until the teaching changes, the problem will not change. If you are truly interested in understanding how terrorists are trained, I recommend this video at CBN.com, which is an interview of a former terrorist telling the story of his upbringing, training, and eventual denunciation of terrorism.

It isn’t about a movie–it’s about the survival of western civilization.

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Sometimes Don’t You Wish Someone Would Just Admit They Made A Mistake

Today The Blaze posted a story about a young Florida lifeguard, Tommy Lopez, who saved someone’s life on Monday and was fired for his efforts. Mr. Lopez rescued a person drowning on a part of the beach he was not hired to patrol. He was fired.

There is, however, an update to the story. It states:

“This event caught me by surprise just as much as it did everyone else,” Ellis said (Jeff Ellis, head of the lifeguard company involved). “We’re reviewing everything that has occurred, and we will either concur with that or we will override what happened based on what we find out.”

“If he left his chair and we had a beach full of people and they were left unprotected, that would be one thing,” he added. “If he left his beach and another guard immediately took over and covered so that the beach was protected, that would be an entirely different thing.”

This is the video from ABC News

I just have a simple question, “If he left his part of the beach and no one drowned during the time he left, is it more important to save the life of an actual drowning person or to stay at your post in case someone might drown?”

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Finally Coming To America

ABC News is reporting that Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese dissident who recently escaped to the American embassy in China, is on a plane headed to the United States with his immediate family. There are concerns for those family members left behind in China, but his immediate family is with him.

The article reports on one of the events that took place during the three weeks it has taken for Chen to get permission to leave the country:

As they waited, Chen continued to speak to the press. He voiced his outrage that his nephew, Chen Kegui, had been arrested and charged with attempted homicide.

Chen says he was acting in self-defense after local authorities attacked his house following Chen’s escape. Chen said he had been in regular contact with US.. officials, and he praised their efforts to help him. But he also expressed frustration that the process was taking so long.

I am glad that Chen and his family are being brought to safety. I hope the relatives left behind will be safe.

 

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What Would You Do ?

Yesterday ABC News reported the reaction from Senater Charles Schumer to Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin‘s statement that he is renouncing his American citizenship in order to avoid taxes on his Facebook profits. Mr. Saverin is a thirty-year old with an estimated net worth of about $2 billion and has lived in Singapore since 2009.

The article reports:

At a news conference this morning, Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey, D-Pa., will unveil the “Ex-PATRIOT” – “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” – Act to respond directly to Saverin’s move, which they dub a “scheme” that would “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”

The senators will call Saverin’s move an “outrage” and will outline their plan to re-impose taxes on expatriates like Saverin even after they flee the United States and take up residence in a foreign country. Their proposal would also impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on the capital gains of anybody who renounces their U.S. citizenship.

The plan would bar individuals like Saverin from ever reentering the United States again.

There are some basic problems with this proposal (other than the fact that it is strictly for show). The text of the Constitution, Article I, Section 9; Clause 3 is “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed”. Aside from the fact that this law is aimed at one specific person, Senator Schumer is making something illegal after it has been done and attempting to make a law retroactively apply to that action. There is no way that should happen under the Constitution.

Frankly, I don’t blame Mr. Saverin for renoucing his citizenship–he doesn’t live in America to begin with, and he wasn’t born here. Why should he let the U. S. Government take upwards of a third of the money he worked hard to earn? If Congress lowered taxes, more people would be willing to pay them instead of avoid them.

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Beware the Open Mike !

Jake Tapper at ABC News posted a story today about some remarks made by President Obama that were not necessarily for public consumption.

The exchange between President Obama and Russian President Medvedev was captured by an open microphone nearby:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

All I can think of when I read this is that it is the script from a bad gangster movie. I don’t want to think about the plans this President has for us if he wins in November.

If the Republicans do not use this in a campaign ad in the presidential campaign this year, they deserve to lose the election.

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Now The Legal System Has Decided To Play God

In February, CBS News posted a story about a couple in who received more than $ 21 million in damages because of the “wrongful birth” of their son. My heart goes out to this couple–they have two small children who have severe birth defects. The suit was filed against the doctor who declared that the second child would be normal–a misdiagnosis.

On March 11, the New York Daily News reported that an Oregon couple had been awarded $2.9 million for the “wrongful birth” of their Down’s Syndrome child.

The Daily News reports:

Ariel and Deborah Levy won their “wrongful birth” suit against Legacy Health System, arguing they chose to continue their pregnancy based on what doctors told them, according to ABC News, and would have terminated it if they had not been assured their baby did not have the genetic condition.

I don’t know what to think of this. I can’t imagine the struggles involved in raising a handicapped child, but I also can’t imagine the guilt of knowing you aborted a child because you didn’t think it was perfect. There is no easy answer to this, but I think suing doctors for millions of dollars is about as far from the right answer as you can get. Is “wrongful birth” significantly different from “wrongful life?”

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It Had To Happen–The Associated Press Is Blaming President Bush For The Failure Of The Super Committee

Official photograph portrait of former U.S. Pr...

Image via Wikipedia

The article was posted today at ABC News. I really have nothing to say. I think the whole thing is ridiculous. If you care to read the original article, you have my blessings, but I’m not quoting it! Keep in mind that the super committee was designed to fail and become a campaign issue. That’s what this article is about. Watch for class warfare and how unfair it is that some Americans are actually successful!

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