How To Avoid Finding The Truth

This is a recording of Catherine Engelbrecht, the head of True The Vote, being interviewed on a radio station about the investigation into IRS targeting of conservative organizations. The recording is posted at YouTube.

The bottom line in what Ms. Engelbrecht is saying is that neither the FBI or the Justice Department has interviewed her or anyone from True the Vote about the fact that they were targeted by the IRS. It might be a good idea to remember that when President Nixon tried to use the IRS against his enemies, the IRS told him to go pound sand. Unfortunately the organization has forgotten that its first responsibility is to the citizens of America–not the politicians.

The only people making progress in the investigation of the IRS are True the Vote and Judicial Watch. That is a sad commentary on our government.

Stonewalling As An Art Form

We have had Presidential administrations in the past that were very good at hiding information from the American people, but the Obama Administration has turned stonewalling into an art form.

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the latest wrinkle in the investigation into the misuse of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The article reports:

The IRS has informed the House Ways and Means Committee that it has lost Lois Lerner email messages from January 2009–April 2011. Harkening back to the allegedly accidental erasure of 18 1/2 minutes of critical Oval Office recordings that contributed to Richard Nixon’s resignation from office, the IRS attributes the loss of Lerner email to a computer crash.

Some email survives: the agency retains Lerner email to and from other IRS employees during this period. The IRS claims it cannot produce email written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or offices of Democrat congressmen. Funny how that works.

I know that this has been said so many times it is a cliche, but can you imagine what would happen if this occurred under a Republican President?

The Quiet Government War Against Guns

According to a Breitbart.com article posted on January 8, 2014, Operation Choke Point is an outgrowth of the President’s Financial Fraud Task Force, established by President Obama by Executive Order in 2009.

Breitbart reports:

It (Operation Choke Point) also appears to have been kicked off in secret by the Department of Justice, FDIC, and the CFPB in early 2013 without the requisite statutory authority. Officials at the Department of Justice have withheld information about the program from Congress, though they have eagerly shared details with federal financial institution examiners authorized to supervise and discipline the nation’s banks and related financial institutions.

In an article posted yesterday, the Daily Caller describes Operation Choke Point as follows:

Operated under a cloud of secrecy by the Department of Justice and in coordination with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Operation Choke Point forces banks to keep a closer eye on companies in industries that are deemed “high risk”, including gun and ammunition dealers, coin dealers, payday lenders, and debt consolidation service providers.

Sounds harmless enough, right? Well, the story at the Daily Caller was about a Massachusetts gun shop owner who was denied a loan from TD Bank because he owned a gun shop.

This is the story:

Mark Cohen, who owns Powderhorn Outfitters, a Hyannis, Mass. gun retailer, said that his longtime bank, TD Bank, refused to extend a line of credit because of the business he is in.

Cohen explained what happened in an interview with The Daily Caller on Friday.

“This year I went to apply for a line of credit, and the bank manager came by the store,” said Cohen, adding that he’s known the bank manager for over 20 years.

“Mark, I apologize,” she said, according to Cohen, “your credit history is great, but the bank is turning you down because you sell guns.”

Cohen told his friend and lender that he would have no choice but to close his accounts with the bank since they couldn’t provide the services his company needs.

…Cohen believes that TD Bank didn’t want to do business with his gun store because of a government initiative called Operation Choke Point.

TD Bank has since tried to make amends, but Mr. Cohen has said that he will no longer do business with them. There is no law against legally selling guns, and there is no indication or charge that Mr. Cohen was doing anything illegal. We currently have an out-of-control federal government. We have November 2014 and November 2016 to shut it down. If we elect people who will continue in the direction we are going, we deserve what we get.

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Holding Government Officials Accountable

On Thursday, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) showing the likelihood of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you gave money to a Tea Party group. Basically, one in ten Tea Party donors were audited compared to a rate of slightly more than one in a hundred for the general population. Obviously, there is a problem here. Congress has been trying to find out who ordered the audit of Tea Party donors and who is responsible for using the IRS as a political weapon. The investigation has been stonewalled by the White House and the Justice Department every step of the way. Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail posted a story about the latest episode in this saga.

The article reports:

David O’Neil, whose job atop the DOJ’s criminal division puts him in charge of public corruption prosecutions, told Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan that he also doesn’t know how many prosecutors are assigned to the case, or how many attorneys from his division are working on it.

Asked to identify the lead agent in the Lerner investigation, O’Neil would only answer, ‘I’m sure that we can provide that information to you.’

Maybe I’m just naive, but it would seem to me that the person in charge of the investigation might have some idea as to how many people are working on the investigation. Has he every bothered to count his emails? Does he actually get any emails?  Note that this story was reported in a British paper–I haven’t seen the report in the mainstream American press.

The article further reports:

I oversee the public integrity section,’ O’Neil said during a House Oversight subcommittee hearing, adding that ‘yes,’ he is involved in the case.

He claimed there are ‘numerous career federal prosecutors that are on that investigation.’

But when Jordan asked him how many are in that group, complaining that he has ‘been trying to get this answer now for 11 months,’ O’Neill conceded, ‘I can’t tell you that answer sitting here today.’

O’Neill also suggested that the Department of Justice is unlikely to appoint a special counsel.

‘No,’ he said. ‘A special counsel is not warranted.’

When the House found Lerner in contempt, it referred her to Attorney General Holder for prosecution, prompting an aide to a Texas Republican to call it ‘the slime probing the slime.’

The female staffer told MailOnline that ‘if Holder ever opens the Lerner file ore than once, I’ll strip naked on the National Mall and sing the president’s favorite Al Green song.’

I don’t think the staffer is in any danger of having to make good on that promise.
It is sad that partisan politics has become more important than the integrity of public officials.

 

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Yes, Conservative Groups Were Purposely Targeted

A website called Tpnn posted a story today featuring a picture of the memo sent from Lois Lerner that began the IRS attack on Tea Party Groups.

This is the memo:

irsloislernerThis memo brings the administration into the targeting of Tea Party groups. It will be interesting to see if the mainstream media picks this up.

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If The Major Media Doesn’t Report It, Voters Might Not Know It Happened

A major news story broke yesterday, and Fox News Special Report was the only evening news show that covered it.

Newsbusters reported last night:

In a major new development in the IRS scandal, House Republicans voted on Wednesday to send a criminal referral to the Department of Justice for former IRS chief Lois Lerner. FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier devoted a full story to the vote by the committee chaired by Congressman Dave Camp, but none of the three broadcast network evening newscasts covered the vote.

The letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder stated that “findings” from the Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Republican Camp, “suggest that Lerner may have violated multiple criminal statutes.” The letter went on to add that “the Committee asks that you pursue this evidence.” The three networks ignored this letter, however, although CBS and ABC talked about Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.

It was also reported at Townhall.com that Lois Lerner’s staff had given information on True The Vote to Representative Cummings’ staff. True The Vote is one of the organizations targeted by the IRS. Representative Cummings had denied that charge, but a number of emails have surfaced.

The article further reports:

Other developments in the letter were ignored by the networks as well. Republicans accused Lerner of talking about taking a job with President Obama’s advocacy group Organizing for Action – while she was investigating non-profit applicants as the IRS head.

The IRS is not and should not be a political organization. We  have two choices–either put honest people in control of the IRS or abolish the IRS. Otherwise the IRS will simply become a weapon to be used by whichever party is in power against the opposition party. That is not what America is about.

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What IRS Scandal?

CBN News is reporting today that the Justice Department has refused to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal.

The article reports:

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz had requested that the Justice Department assign a non-partisan special counsel to the case, rather than relying on the Obama administration to investigate itself.

But Obama DOJ appointee Peter J. Kadzik recently wrote to Cruz, telling him a special counsel was unnecessary.

Kadzik said  that a special counsel is only “appointed when an investigation or prosecution by the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest…such that the public interest would be served by such an appointment.”

After the scandal broke, the Obama administration appointed a major Obama campaign donor to investigate the IRS instead of an independent prosecutor.

The article concludes:

The American Center for Law & Justice agreed, saying the Justice Department’s decision not to appoint an independent prosecutor “contributes to a troubling and growing pattern of obstruction.”

“An independent prosecutor – with no political agenda – is truly needed to uncover the origin and depth of this unconstitutional targeting scheme. By rejecting this request, the Justice Department puts politics ahead of the rule of law,” Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, said.

“Sadly, in the discretion of the attorney general, Eric Holder has chosen to reject the bipartisan tradition of the Department of Justice of putting rule of law above political allegiance,” Cruz also said.

Unfortunately we currently have no justice in the Obama Justice Department.

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Protecting Your Vote By Ending Voter Fraud

When we vote, we have the right to expect that our vote will count. We have the right to expect that the election we are voting in will be fair–one vote for person and no one allowed to vote who is not an American citizen. Unfortunately, some of our laws are not written so that this right is protected.

The following video appeared on YouTube. It is an investigative story done by a Florida television station on the subject of voter fraud:

We need to hold the government accountable for insuring the integrity of our elections.

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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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Things That Happen In An Election Year

Yesterday’s Washington Post reported that seven Senate Democrats voted with the Republicans to block the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile as chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Adegbile voluntarily took up the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, after Black Panther member Abu-Jamal was convicted of the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

The article reminds us that these votes were not about principle, they are about politics:

A senior aide to one of the senators who voted against the nominee said several senators’ offices were “very angry” at the White House for moving ahead with the nomination even though it could leave Democrats who are facing tough reelection races vulnerable to attack ads.

…Reid had spoken in defense of Adegbile and initially voted in favor but later switched his vote to no, making him the eighth Democrat to vote against the nominee. But Reid did so only to reserve his right as Senate leader to bring up the nomination again. Later Wednesday, aides couldn’t say whether that will happen.

Under President Obama, the Justice Department has become very politicized. Had the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile been allowed to proceed, the Justice Department would have become even more political. In the beginning of the Obama Administration, the direction of the Justice Department became clear when the New Black Panthers were not prosecuted for voter intimidation. In the past, the Justice Department has not been a political arm of the President’s political party. Hopefully, when we are free of the Obama Administration in 2016, the Justice Department will go back to being an impartial judge of the laws of America. We can probably expect the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to appear again after the 2014 mid-term elections.

 

 

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A Short Summary Of The Internal Revenue Service Scandal

Robert Stacy McCain posted an article in the March issue of the American Spectator that summarizes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal and sums up where we are today. The article reminds us that Tom Perez, now Secretary of Labor,  was head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division where his key aide Barbara K. Bosserman was chosen to head up the investigation of the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups. The first question regarding the investigation of the IRS is, “Why was Barbara K. Bosserman chosen?” Ms. Bosserman’s background is as a civil rights attorney–she does not have a background in tax law. It is also an incredible coincidence that Ms. Bosserman has historically been a major donor to Democrat party coffers.

The article reports:

During a January hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan raised that question with the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz. In his 12 years of DOJ experience under three different administrations, did Horowitz “ever recall the civil rights division investigating tax law matters?” Jordan asked.

“I don’t recall that during my time,” Horowitz answered.

The article reminds us that conservative political groups who applied for tax exempt status had their applications held up for a year or more. In some cases, organizations were asked for lists of donors and those donors were harassed.

The article points out the media’s role in downplaying the IRS scandal:

The media has been complacent,” said Becky Gerritson of the Wetumpka (Alabama) Tea Party, whose group was one of those the IRS targeted. In a telephone interview, Gerritson mentioned that the traffic-related “scandal” involving New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie had gotten 17 times as much major network news coverage in a single 24-hour period as the IRS scandal had received in the previous six months. From July 2013 through early January 2014, ABC, CBS, and NBC had barely two minutes of coverage to IRS scandal, according to the Media Research Center’s Scott Whitlock.

Even a basic investigation shows that some very fundamental laws were broken by the IRS:

Perhaps the most egregious example of that “climate of hostility” was the illegal release of donor information from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Congressional investigators say the source of that leak was an IRS staffer in Lerner’s Exempt Organizations Division. NOM opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage and the IRS leaker, who cannot be named because of confidentiality laws, provided NOM’s donor information to a gay activist, who then gave it to NOM’s arch-enemy, the pro-gay Human Rights Campaign. The illegal IRS leak led to news stories in 2012 identifying GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as a donor to the conservative group. NOM filed its own lawsuit against the IRS in October, and pointed out that former HRC president Joe Solmonese served as co-chairman of Obama’s re-election campaign. “This is a federal crime,” NOM president Brian Brown said. “Worse, the confidential information contained in the illegally leaked documents included the identity of dozens of our major donors and the HRC used this confidential donor information to harass our donors. This is a chilling set of circumstances that should ring alarm bells across the nation.”

The straw that broke the camel’s back for the conservative organizations targeted by the IRS is the fact that the investigators have only actually interviewed one of two of the organizations that have registered complaints.

The only way the IRS’s abuses of power will be dealt with is if those people impacted by the crimes of the IRS continue to speak out. If the sort of abuse of power is allowed to continue, all of our freedom of speech is in danger.

 

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Seems As If Everyone In The Executive Department Has A Pen And A Phone

CNS News reported today that Attorney General Eric Holder is about to take aim at laws that do not allow convicted felons to vote. Wonderful. Three days ago Eric Holder announced that the U.S. Justice Department will recognize same-sex marriages in all legal matters, even in states that forbid it. What he is saying is that the Justice Department will overrule the votes of the people in the states that do not allow same-sex marriage.

The article reports:

Holder said state laws that bar felons from voting are “not only unnecessary and unjust, they are also counterproductive” because they perpetuate the “stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals,” increasing the likelihood that they will commit future crimes.

Such “outdated” laws have a “disparate impact on minority communities,” he said, suggesting that this is, at heart, a civil rights issue.

Of the 5.8 million Americans who cannot vote because of current or previous felony convictions, 2.2 million are black, Holder noted.

These people are not allowed to vote because they are convicted felons. They are not guilty of misdemeanors–they are convicted felons. They are not being denied the right to vote because of anything but their conviction. They could be pink with purple stripes, and if they had not committed a felony, they would be allowed to vote. This is about committing a crime–this is not about race. Hopefully the Attorney General will not try to make it about race, although the last sentence quoted might be an indication that he plans to.

I would not be opposed to allowing a convicted felon vote after he had been out of prison for twenty years or so and if he had stayed out of trouble during that time. However, I am opposed to simply allowing all convicted felons to vote after they have been released from prison. I would also see this decision made by Congress rather than just done by the Justice Department with the stroke of a pen.

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Lawyers Are Revolting Against Attorney General Holder

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about a letter the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys sent Holder three days ago. The letter was in reference to the Attorney General‘s support of the Durbin-Lee bill, which would overturn the current mandatory minimum sentences not only for marijuana violations but for all drug offenses, including major and repeat trafficking in heroin, meth, PCP and other extremely dangerous, and often lethal, drugs.

The article quotes the letter:

We believe the merits of mandatory minimums are abundantly clear. They reach to only the most serious of crimes. They target the most serious criminals. They provide us leverage to secure cooperation from defendants. They help to establish uniform and consistency in sentencing. And foremost, they protect law-abiding citizens and help to hold crime in check.

The Justice Department under Attorney General Holder has a history of ignoring laws and practicing unequal justice. Hopefully, if this law is defeated, the Justice Department will continue to do its job in accordance with the current law.

Putting drug dealers back on the streets more quickly does not help our society in any way.

 

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Out Of Control???

Yesterday the Western Center For Journalism posted an article about a recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The article reports:

In an outrageous decision recently announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, the West River Indian Reservation now has ownership of an entire Wyoming town. Along with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice, the EPA decided to give the town of Riverton to the tribe, obviously upsetting those who call the community home.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead responded to the brewing controversy with a resolute stance against the government intrusion.

…The 10,000 residents of Riverton are now technically under the control of the tribe, not the U.S. government. This not only makes residents responsible for any taxes or regulations tribal leaders decide to impose, it disqualifies them from state resources.

When did we become a banana republic? I hope that the State of Wyoming is successful in fighting this ruling. If it is not, there is no limit to what the government can arbitrarily do to its citizens.
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The Key To Racial Equality Is Equal Education For All Children

One of the major keys to racial equality is to make sure that children of all races have access to a good education. Because of the makeup of most of our major cities, the only way to achieve that is through vouchers and school choice. Most Republicans have been encouraging these programs for years. Unfortunately, because of their relationship to the Teachers’ Unions, the Democrats have worked very hard to oppose both vouchers and school choice.

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line detailing the latest battle on the school choice front. The source for the Power Line article is a Fox News story from yesterday.

One of the unexpected consequences of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was the birth of a new school system. Many failing schools were replaced by Charter Schools and other schools that were not failing. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has worked very hard to provide children in New Orleans a good alternative to the failing city public schools. However, the Justice Department is blocking his efforts.

Fox News reports:

The Justice Department is trying to stop a school vouchers program in Louisiana that attempts to help families send their children to independent schools instead of under-performing public schools.

The agency wants to stop the program, led by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, in any school district that remains under a desegregation court order.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, the agency said Louisiana distributed vouchers in 2012-13 to roughly 570 public school students in districts that are still under such orders and that “many of those vouchers impeded the desegregation process.”

The federal government argues that allowing students to attend independent schools under the voucher system could create a racial imbalance in public school systems protected by desegregation orders.

John Hinderaker at Power Line states:

This Louisiana case is typical: Holder wants to keep the archaic residue of the civil rights movement alive forever, as a club with which to beat the Southern states, and as a means of screwing African-Americans. After all, if blacks can’t escape from terrible schools, their employment prospects will be lousy. They likely will be welfare-dependent, and therefore reliable Democratic voters for decades to come. That is, as best one can infer it from the facts, the calculation that Obama and Holder have made.

Eric Holder’s Justice Department is a disgrace. They have become totally political. I would suggest that Eric Holder be replaced, except that I think President Obama would simply find someone equally bad.

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Picking Winners And Losers When Enforcing The Law

CBN News posted a story today which illustrates what happens when the people in charge of enforcing the law do not respect the principle of equal justice under the law. The case involves the death of two ducks in a waste pool next to an oil drill site.

As you read this story, please keep in mind the following, reported by Fox News on August 16, 2011:

Case in point: In the Bay Area, when activists in the 1980s demanded a cleaner planet, the state responded with the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. The state-approved wind farm, built with federal tax credits, kills 4,700 birds annually, including 1,300 raptors, among them 70 golden eagles, according to biological reports generated on behalf of the owners.

…Pine Tree is one of the wind farms in Kern County and is operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. According to an internal DWP bird and bat mortality report for the year ending June 2010, bird fatality rates were “relatively high” at Pine Tree compared to 45 other wind facilities nationwide. The facility’s annual death rate per turbine is three times higher for golden eagles than at Altamont.

“Politics plays a huge role here,” Smallwood said. “Our leaders want this power source so they’re giving, for a time being, a pass to the wind industry. If you or I killed an eagle, we’re looking at major consequences.”

I am asking you to keep this in mind as you read this story. Bud Brigham, head of Brigham Resources, was charged with killing two ducks who died in a waste pool next to one of his drills in North Dakota.

The article at CBN News reports:

“A Justice Department appointee apparently chartered a helicopter to go search for this,” Brigham told CBN News, “and flew around to all the different well sites in western North Dakota.”

…Those in the helicopter found 28 dead birds in the waste pools of seven oil and gas companies, and the prosecutor used the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act to charge the companies with criminally killing the 28 birds.

When Congress passed the act, it was intended just to stop poachers or hunters deliberately killing migratory birds. But that didn’t stop this federal prosecutor going after Brigham and the other oil executives.

In Brigham’s case, he and his company were charged with killing two ducks.

“And for two mallards there were cash fines, but also, as CEO, I could potentially serve two consecutive six-month terms in prison,” Brigham said.

As previously mentioned, there have been no charges brought against windmill companies.

Fortunately, the judge in the case tossed it out, stating that if the government were allowed to put Mr. Brigham in jail, they could theoretically imprison a cat-owner whose cat had killed a bird.

Those people in the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency who sent out the helicopters to find the birds and those in the Justice Department who prosecuted the case need to be removed from office. This sort of activity does not represent equal justice under the law–it represents the government picking winners and losers–something the Obama Administration is known for doing.

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Good News In America

CBN News posted a story today about the recent rescue of 150 children and the arrest of 150 pimps involved in human trafficking. The rescues and arrests took place in 76 American cities.

The article reports:

The Justice Department says nearly 450,000 children run away from home each year and that one-third of teens living on the street will be pulled toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. Astoundingly, some are recruited right out of foster care facilities.

The graph below is from the Human Trafficking Statistics Report in 2012:

Human trafficking is a major problem around the world. America is not exempt from this problem. Part of the problem is related to the breakdown of families in America. Children need a stable home environment, and often that is something they don’t have. They can be lured into trafficking through promises of lucrative modeling careers and other wonderful-sounding promises. We need to educated our children about the dangers of looking for short cuts to financial success.

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Sometimes There Is A Reason A Law Needs To Be Changed

Today Hot Air posted an article about some changes Texas has made in its voting laws.

The article explains the conflict between the state of Texas and Eric Holder‘s Justice Department:

What Holder proposes to do is to tell Texas to get DoJ approval for its voting (and redistricting) laws before putting them in force, right after the Supreme Court told Texas and the other Section 4 states that they don’t need to do so.  Holder can file a lawsuit to attempt to force compliance, but that’s just bluster. Texas isn’t going to comply, and it’s doubtful a federal court would do anything but laugh at the filing after the ruling last month.  The DoJ has no more jurisdiction to tell Texas to get pre-approval for laws passed under its own sovereignty.  This is grandstanding on a particularly demagogic scale.

In 2011, Texas passed a law requiring the following forms of identification in order to vote (according to the Texas.gov website):

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place

Why are these laws necessary? As I reported in rightwinggranny.com in September 2010, this is what happened when a group of people decided to investigate who was voting in Texas:

“”The first thing we started to do was look at houses with more than six voters in them” Engelbrecht (Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote) said, because those houses were the most likely to have fraudulent registrations attached to them. “Most voting districts had 1,800 if they were Republican and 2,400 of these houses if they were Democratic . . .

“”But we came across one with 24,000, and that was where we started looking.”

“Vacant lots had several voters registered on them. An eight-bed halfway house had more than 40 voters registered at its address,” Engelbrecht said. “We then decided to look at who was registering the voters.”

“Their work paid off. Two weeks ago the Harris County voter registrar took their work and the findings of his own investigation and handed them over to both the Texas secretary of state’s office and the Harris County district attorney.

“Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who formerly worked for the Service Employees International Union. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid. The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.”

It seems as if voter id would be a good idea after that kind of fraud. Why would the Department of Justice want to prevent a law that would stop voter fraud?

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America Used To Be A Beacon Of Freedom

The Blaze is reporting today that the German family seeking political asylum in the United States because they want to homeschool their children will take their case to the Supreme Court.

An immigration judge granted the Romeike family asylum in 2010, but the U.S. government appealed. An immigration appeals board sided with the government, and the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals last week denied the family’s request for a new hearing.

The Home School Legal Defense Association is representing the family and has stated that they will take the case to the Supreme Court.

The article reports:

“The German High Court is on record for saying that religious homeschoolers should be targeted and severely punished, yet our Justice Department sees nothing wrong with that,” Farris (Home School Legal Defense Association founder Michael Farris) said. “The attorney general and Sixth Circuit are ignoring critical evidence and are trying to send back this family who is trying to stay in our country legally. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will go the other way and see what the original immigration judge saw: that this family and other religious homeschoolers in Germany are being persecuted for what they believe is the right way to raise their children.”

These are exactly the kind of people who should be granted asylum in the United States. Hopefully the Supreme Court will take the case and grant the Romeike family the freedom they are seeking.

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Politicizing The Justice Department

Yesterday the Washington Times posted a story about illegal activity on the part of government employees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The article reports:

The Treasury Department has admitted for the first time that confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors were improperly scrutinized by government officials, but the Justice Department has declined to prosecute any of the cases.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for an explanation of the lack of prosecutions. Senator Grassley has asked for a reply before July 26.

The article reports:

“Although this may not be indicative of wide spread targeting, any instance is cause for concern,” Mr. Grassley wrote. “Even more alarming, in at least one instance TIGTA referred evidence of ‘willful unauthorized access’ to the United States Attorney’s Office, but criminal prosecution was declined. Decisions such as these directly impact the political process and should be subject to the scrutiny of the American public.”

The IRS did not respond to a request for comment on Mr. George’s findings.

It really is time to clean house in Washington.

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Destroying Our Own Foundations

Last week Breitbart.com posted an article about the Justice Department‘s decision to defund two you programs because of references to God.

The article reports:

Julian Whittington, the sheriff of Bossier Parish, LA, told Fox News that Obama‘s Justice Office of Civil Rights de-funded the Young Marines chapter and another youth program over mentions of religion. In the case of the Young Marine program, chartered in 1965, the funding was cut off because the group features an oath that mentions “God.” In the other case, it was because a program for at-risk youth featured a voluntary, student-led prayer session as one of its activities.

Doesn’t the U. S. Congress have a chaplain? Why in the world is this worth the time and energy of the Civil Rights office?

The article quotes Representative John Fleming (R-LA) :

“There is a very wide effort coming out of the administration that seeks to stamp out freedom of expressions – particularly religion and especially freedom of Christian expression,” Fleming said. “They are willing to throw the youth overboard and remove the funding just in the name of making this an atheist, agnostic, secular organization.”

“They (DOJ) don’t want anything to have any sort of religious support – even down to prayer,” Fleming said. “It’s sad and it’s inconsistent with the intentions of the framers of the Constitution.”

We need to elect people who understand the U. S. Constitution and the history of America so that they can appoint people to various government positions who share their knowledge and views.

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Looking For Your Keys Under The Streetlight

There is an old joke about a man who was walking around under a streetlight as if he was searching for something. When asked what he was doing, he explained that he had lost his car keys on the other side of the street. When further questioned, he explained that he was looking for them under the streetlight because the light was better. That is the only way I can even begin to explain the logic behind the following story.

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted a story about spying on American citizens. The government’s justification for the increased spying on Americans is that it is needed because of the terrorism threat. That almost makes sense–but there seems to be a gap between the purpose of the spying and its actual execution.

The article at Investor’s Business Daily reports:

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

So it’s okay to violate the rights of average Americans, but not okay to violate the rights of Muslims? We really need to take a closer look at how this happened.

The article further reports:

One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn’t monitored, red flags didn’t go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.

This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.

The more I learn about the surveillance programs currently in place, the more I am convinced that these programs have more to do with politics than national security.

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About That Transparency Thing…

Today’s Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the Department of Justice’s handling of Freedom of Information Act requests. The article points out that the Department of Justice has not challenged a single instance of a federal agency withholding records from Freedom of Information (FOIA) requesters since 2009.

The article reports:

The audit (a government-wide audit performed by the National Security Archive in December) prompted a letter to the justice Department from Issa and Cummings.

“Given OIP’s role in in implementing compliance with FOIA, the committee seeks information about a number of issues including what many term as outdated FOIA regulations, exorbitant and possibly illegal fee assessments, FOIA backlogs, the excessive use and abuse of exemptions, and dispute resolution services,” Issa and Cummings wrote in February.

The Justice Department did not respond to oversight’s letter for four months.

The National Security Archive sought the information through a FOIA request in March, but the Justice Department told the NSA the records were exempt from disclosure.

“The fact that this document was blocked from release using a b(5) exemption is a good example of why the DOJ isn’t meeting the president’s instruction on FOIA,” National Security Archive FOIA coordinator Nate Jones told the Free Beacon.

Issa and Cummings wrote to the department again on Monday, saying Justice’s failure to respond “extremely disappointing.”

The Washington Free Beacon has previously reported that the number of FOIA requests has greatly increased during the Obama Administration.

The article further reports:

An August 2012 Washington Post analysis found that early freedom of information progress by the Obama administration “stalled and, in the case of most departments, reversed in direction.”

The number of FOIA requests denied in full due to exemptions rose more than 10 percent last year, to 25,636 from 22,834 the previous year, according to the Post’s analysis.

This really does not sound like transparency to me.

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Keeping The War On The Media Secret

On Friday, Ryan Lizza posted an article in “The New Yorker” entitled,  “How Prosecutors Fought to Keep Rosen’s Warrant Secret.” In order to keep the warrant secret, they had to call Rosen a co-conspirator to the crime of espionage.

Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a former State Department adviser who allegedly leaked classified information to Rosen, wrote “some investigations are continued for many years because, while the evidence is not yet sufficient to bring charges, it is sufficient to have identified criminal subjects and/or criminal activity serious enough to justify continuation of the investigation.”

I am not a lawyer, but let me see if I understand this. There is not enough evidence to bring charges, so we will keep snooping through Rosen’s e-mail until we find something we can nail him with. With any luck at all, we might find an affair as we did with General Petraeus, and we can use that against him to get him under our control.

The article reports:

The new documents show that two judges separately declared that the Justice Department was required to notify Rosen of the search warrant, even if the notification came after a delay. Otherwise: “The subscriber therefore will never know, by being provided a copy of the warrant, for example, that the government secured a warrant and searched the contents of her e-mail account,” Judge John M. Facciola wrote in an opinion rejecting the Obama Administration’s argument.

Machen appealed that decision, and in September, 2010, Royce C. Lamberth, the chief judge in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, granted Machen’s request to overturn the order of the two judges.

Rosen was not indicted in the case. Kim was indicted for making unauthorized disclosures of national defense information and for making false statements to F.B.I. agents about his contacts with Rosen.

The article in the New Yorker includes pictures of all the relevant court documents. Please follow the link above to follow the events.

Attorney General Holder has been asked by President Obama to review the Justice Department’s policies concerning investigations of the media. That is really interesting since Attorney General Holder was the one who personally approved the warrant to search James Rosen’s email. Obviously, the investigation will prove that everyone in the administration was totally blameless.

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Another Story About Telling The Truth

I really think that the people in our government have an obligation to be honest with the American public except when national security issues are truly at stake. That may be a minority opinion, but it is my opinion. Right now there are a number of scandals floating around the Obama Administration, and the problem with most of them is that the government overreached and then tried to hide what it did.

One of those scandals is the snooping against Fox News reporter James Rosen. The snooping was outrageous–even to the point of going after the phone records of Mr. Rosen’s parents. Well, the plot thickens…

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported today that evidence shows that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress.

The article reports:

Last week, under relatively friendly questioning from Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) about the Department of Justice seizure of Associated Press phone records, Johnson asked about the potential to prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act of 1917.  ”You’ve got a long way to go to try to prosecute the press for publication of material,” Holder responded.

Later, though, he returned to the topic unbidden, emphasis mine (at the 5-minute mark):

In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material. This is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.

The article explains the problem:

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

This contradiction raises some rather serious questions. First of all, was Attorney General Holder lying when he said he was not part of the snooping on James Rosen?

A website called The Right Sphere explains the second problem:

The problem for Holder is that we now know he personally signed off on the order to get a subpoena for Fox News’ James Rosen’s phone records. The entire basis of the warrant for those records relies on Rosen being a potential conspirator and therefore potentially prosecuted.

According to the DoJ’s subpoena, Google surrendered Rosen’s emails, who is described as “an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator,” to the government.

I’m sure Holder and his allies will say that they never intended to prosecute Rosen, but that’s 1) not the point and 2) even worse. If that’s their defense, they knowingly lied to the judge who would, hopefully, reject the request if they admitted it was just a fishing expedition for information.

They’re stuck. Either he (by signing the request for the records) lied to the judge or Holder lied directly to Congress.

It will be interesting to see how Congress reacts when they realize they have been lied to.

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