This Really Does Not Look Good

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article stating that the attorney for the Information Technology (IT) specialist who handled Hillary Clinton’s email server has informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi that his client, Bryan Pagliano, will plead the 5th Amendment if he is called to testify before the Committee. The article states that Mr. Pagliano had worked on the 2008 Clinton campaign, moved to the State Department several months after Mrs. Clinton took office, and left the agency in February 2013, when Mrs. Clinton stepped down as Secretary of State.

There are a number of questions about Mrs. Clinton’s emails. The obvious question is whether there was classified information on the server, but in light of all of the information that has come out since we have learned about the server, the real question is who ordered the wiping of the server and when that order was given. If the wiping of the server was done while it was under investigation, that is a crime. It is questionable whether or not the current Justice Department will prosecute the destruction of evidence, but it is a crime.

The other thing that this story illustrates is the problem with rewarding campaign workers with government jobs. In my mind there is a question as to whether Mr. Paliano‘s first loyalty is to America or to Hillary Clinton. Political appointments to government jobs is nothing new, but in light of recent events, I think the practice needs to be reexamined.

Does Anyone Else Think This Is Upside Down?

My Way News posted an article today about the hacking into the cheating website Ashley Madison. The list of clients includes some with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress, and law enforcement agencies who used Internet connections in their federal offices to access and pay membership fees to the website. The obvious concern is that the information could be used to blackmail people in sensitive positions.

The article reports:

The AP traced many of the accounts exposed by hackers back to federal workers. They included at least two assistant U.S. attorneys; an information technology administrator in the Executive Office of the President; a division chief, an investigator and a trial attorney in the Justice Department; a government hacker at the Homeland Security Department and another DHS employee who indicated he worked on a U.S. counterterrorism response team.

…The AP is not naming the government subscribers it found because they are not elected officials or accused of a crime.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter confirmed the Pentagon was looking into the list of people who used military email addresses. Adultery can be a criminal offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

So let me get this straight–a high level security officer probably won’t face any consequences for his stupidity, but an army private who was using the site will be investigated. Ask yourself, which is the greater risk to the country? Either go after everyone or leave everyone alone. Remember when President Clinton was doing whatever in the White House, we were told that it was a private matter. He was, at the time, Commander in Chief. The same rules that apply to the Chief should apply to the Indians.

What Difference Does It Make?

As the media covers the fact that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has finally agreed to hand over her computer server to the Justice Department, let’s back up a minute and look at the history of Secretary Clinton and her server.

On March 30, Byron York posted a story at The Washington Examiner that included the following:

The subpoena story began on Sept. 20, 2012, nine days after the attacks. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who was chairman of the House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, sent a letter to then-Secretary of State Clinton asking for “all information … related to the attack on the consulate.” Chaffetz specifically asked for all analyses, whether classified or unclassified, on the security situation leading up to the Benghazi attack, plus, among other things, all analyses that either supported or contradicted UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s assertion that the attack was the spontaneous result of outrage over an anti-Muslim video. The short version of the letter was that Chaffetz demanded “all information” on Benghazi.

Just to be clear, the Chaffetz letter included standard language telling Clinton, “In complying with this request, you are required to produce all responsive documents that are in your possession, custody, or control, whether held by you or your past or present agents, employees, and representatives acting on your behalf.”

…The routine got old fast. Republicans (and Democrats, for that matter) couldn’t copy the documents and couldn’t use them at hearings. Chaffetz and Rep. Darrell Issa, then the chairman of the full Oversight and Government Reform Committee, became frustrated. In response to their protests, the State Department stressed that it had made all the relevant documents available, even if under restrictive conditions. State has “provided Congress with access to documents, comprising over 25,000 pages to date, including communications of senior Department officials regarding the security situation in Benghazi,” State official Thomas Gibbons wrote to Issa on March 29, 2013.

That did nothing to quiet Republican unhappiness. The problem came to a head on Aug. 1, 2013, when the committee issued a subpoena to the State Department. (It was officially directed to new Secretary of State John Kerry.)

Note that the date of the subpoena was August 1, 2013–more than two years ago.

Yesterday The New York Post posted a story that included the following:

Security experts warned Wednesday that the chances of recovering deleted information from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s home e-mail server are slim — unless she did a lousy scrubbing job.

“Being the fact that this is Hillary Clinton with significant resources and a reputation to uphold, I would say that those who are seeking out additional information on the servers … would have a very difficult time finding something,” Robert Siciliano, an online-security expert, told The Post.

When items are deleted they still leave a trace — or “bread crumbs,” as ­Siciliano put it — but a skilled person doing the deleting can ensure that fewer crumbs are left to recreate the missing documents.

Does anyone really believe that the Justice Department is going to uphold the law in regard to Secretary Clinton? This case will be a litmus case to see if President Obama actually supports the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I suspect the President Obama does not want Hillary Clinton to become President, but I also suspect he has seen the list of people who have opposed the Clintons in the past and faced severe consequences. Watching this unfold will be extremely educational to all of us.

Sometimes Bias Is Subtle

Rick Moran posted an article at the American Thinker today about a change made to a news article about Hillary Clinton which appeared in The New York Times today. It’s a very subtle change, but it totally changes the way the reader will process the information in the story.

 

The article at the American Thinker details the changes:

The paper initially reported that two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation “into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state.”

That clause, which cast Clinton as the target of the potential criminal probe, was later changed: the inspectors general now were asking for an inquiry “into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state.”

The Times also changed the headline of the story, from “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email” to “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account,” reflecting a similar recasting of Clinton’s possible role. The article’s URL was also changed to reflect the new headline.

As of early Friday morning, the Times article contained no update, notification, clarification or correction regarding the changes made to the article.

The private email server set up by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was illegal. Keeping sensitive information and correspondence on that server was almost certainly detrimental to American foreign policy. One software expert commented that it was almost 100 percent certain that Mrs. Clinton’s private server had been hacked by foreign countries that do not have the best interests of America in mind. Were Mrs. Clinton an ordinary American citizen, she would currently be sitting in a jail cell. Unfortunately we have reached a place in America where all men are not equal under the law.

The article reminds us of the fact that The New York Times is not a good source of unbiased news:

It’s ridiculous that the New York Times is maintaining the fiction that it’s an independent media source and not an enthusiastic booster of Hillary Clinton in this campaign.. And it’s a fiction that the rest of the media is eagerly playing along with. The fact that the Times isn’t even bothering to hide its contempt for its readers and the rest of the country when it bends over backwards to satisfy the Clinton campaign on a negative story speaks volumes about the rank partisanship and ideological bias contained in most of the Times’ news coverage.

The New York Times is one of many reasons the alternative media is thriving.

The Internal Revenue Service Under President Obama Is Still Political

Fox Business posted an article today about a Government Accountability Office investigation of the Internal Revenue Service. A House Oversight subcommittee will take testimony from IRS commissioner John Koskinen today.

The article reports:

The GAO now says that IRS political “targeting is indeed possible in the audit process” for nonprofits, largely due to poor agency oversight and controls.

“Unfortunately, the IRS has not taken sufficient steps to prevent targeting Americans based on their personal beliefs,” the GAO says.

Specifically, The GAO found that “control deficiencies” do “increase the risk” that the IRS nonprofit unit “could select organizations for examinations in an unfair manner—for example, based on an organization’s religious, educational, political or other views.”

Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, says it has obtained Freedom of Information Act filings that show IRS workers were using donor lists from conservative nonprofit groups to target people for audit. It also says documents detail a October 2010 meeting between former IRS official Lois Lerner, Justice Department officials and the FBI to plan “for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity,” and that the IRS transferred confidential tax returns from 113,000 nonprofit social welfare groups to the FBI “as part of its prosecution effort.” The documents also show “the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress.”

The IRS is a very obvious example of a government agency out of control. We need to revise our tax system so that the IRS is no longer necessary. The IRS is a descendant of  the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue, established in The Revenue Act of 1862 as part of a temporary war-time tax plan. The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution (1913) allowed Congress to levy an income tax.

It is time to seriously consider a flat tax or a value-added tax.

 

It Just Gets Uglier

It would be nice to be done with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal by now, but new things keep showing up. The latest should be a cause for concern to all Americans, regardless of which political party they belong to.

Judicial Watch released a report today about its latest findings as a result of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed regarding the IRS. The findings are very unsettling to those of us who believe in free speech.

Here are a few highlights:

The newly obtained records also reveal that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress. Records also detail how the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups  – or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States – as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department.”

The documents were produced subsequent to court orders in two Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits: Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:14-cv-1956) and Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:14-cv-1239).

The new IRS documents include a October 11, 2010 “DOJ Recap” memo sent by IRS Exempt Organizations Tax Law Specialist Siri Buller to Lerner and other top IRS officials explaining an October 8 meeting with representatives from the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and “one representative from the FBI” to discuss the possible criminal prosecution of nonprofit organizations for alleged political activity:

Why was the IRS coordinating with the Justice Department on Congressional testimony?

The article continues:

“These new documents show that the Obama IRS scandal is also an Obama DOJ and FBI scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his reelection. And this abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining confidential taxpayer information. How can the Justice Department and FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?”

On April 16, 2014, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to release documents revealing for the first time that Lerner communicated with the DOJ in May 2013 about whether it was possible to launch criminal prosecutions against targeted tax-exempt entities. The documents were obtained due to court order in an October 2013 Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit filed against the IRS.

This sounds like Soviet Russia–not like America. Please follow the link above to Judicial Watch to read the entire article. There is quite a bit there that confirms the much of the Obama Administration was conducting a war on any group that did not agree with them.

In The End, It All Comes Down To Trust

The Washington Free Beacon today reported that the National Institute for Justice (a group under the Justice Department) has awarded Michigan State University $585,719 to study social media use by “far-right” groups. It would be interesting to know how they define ‘far-right’ groups.

The article reports:

“We will collect posts made in four active forums used by members of the far-right and three from the Islamic Extremist community, as well as posts made in Facebook, LiveJournal, Twitter, YouTube, and Pastebin accounts used by members of each movement,” the grant said.

“The findings will be used to document both the prevalence and variation in the ideological content of posts from members of each movement,” the grant continued. “In addition, we will assess the value of these messages in the social status of the individual posting the message and the function of radical messages in the larger on-line identity of participants in extremist communities generally.”

The project will also “identify the hidden networks of individuals who engage in extremist movements based on geographic location and ideological similarities.”

The results will be used for a public webinar, and for presentations for counterterrorism experts in the United States.

Holder highlighted the study in remarks this February at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, as an example of the new methods the Justice Department is using to combat terrorist threats.

Holder said the study will “help us develop more effective techniques and partnerships for counter-messaging.”

While the grant does not name the “far-right” groups that would be examined, other federal agencies have devoted their energy to the sovereign citizen movement.

As someone who probably belongs to at least one of the groups I suspect is labeled far-right, I would like to save them some trouble and maybe some money.

I use social media to see pictures of my grandchildren. I also use it to play silly games like Candy Crush and Trivia Crack. I use it to keep track of news events in areas I care about–Common Core in North Carolina and in Massachusetts, the statements of various conservative candidates, and activities of local conservative groups. I also love some of the animal pictures that other people post on Facebook and love the posts from the Wildcat Sanctuary. I also appreciate some of the inspirational things my friends post. I also have Democrat friends who post things. That’s their right as much as it is my right–only no one is investigating their social media habits or auditing their tax returns. Now that I have done some of your research for you, can I have part of the grant?

I write this to make a point. Congress is stalled right now on renewing certain aspects of the NSA Surveillance Program. Do you think if the Obama Administration had behaved better in dealing with its political opposition, people might be more inclined to trust the government?

Why Voter Identification Matters

The Daily Signal posted an article on Friday about voter fraud. It is an issue in America.

This is the list the article includes of some recent incidents:

 

  • In McAllen, Texas, two campaign workers (known as politiqueras in local parlance) who bribed voters with cocaine, beer, cigarettes and cash during a 2012 school board election have been sentenced separately to serve eight and four months in prison, respectively. U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane called this election fraud “terrible” and said that “our country requires that our voting process be clear and free of fraud for democracy to work … it’s dangerous for this to occur without consequence.”
  • A couple in Le Sueur, Minn., was charged with felony voter registration fraud for lying about where they lived so they could vote in a school bond referendum in another town.
  • A woman in Dothan, Ala., was sentenced to six months in prison for her part in a voter fraud scheme that got a city commissioner re-elected. She was the second of the four people charged to have been found guilty of voter fraud in the case, which may have involved more than 100 absentee ballots.
  • Bronx politician Hector Ramirez has been arrested after a 242-count grand jury indictment charged him with a massive voter fraud scheme that involved tricking voters into letting Ramirez and his staff illegally vote their absentee ballots. The local prosecutor told the New York Daily News that Ramirez, who lost two prior tries at a state assembly seat, “made a decision that he was not going to lose, under any circumstance.”
  • A state appeals court upheld a ruling voiding a 2013 commission election in Weslaco, Texas, in which dozens of illegal votes were cast in an election won by only 16 votes. The illegal votes included individuals falsely claiming to reside in the city and improper “assistance” that told voters who to vote for—a great example of how even a small amount of fraud can make a difference in close elections.
  • In Philadelphia, the setting of the infamous 2008 New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, four local election officials have been charged with casting multiple votes in the city’s 18th Ward in a precinct in which three of them didn’t even live and were not registered to vote. This case illustrates the importance of poll watchers, because it was a local poll watcher who saw what happened and brought it to the attention of the district attorney’s office. This is the same district attorney, Democrat Seth Williams, who indicted two Democratic state legislators last year for accepting bribes in exchange for voting against a voter ID bill after the Pennsylvania attorney general, Kathleen Kane, also a Democrat, refused to prosecute the case.
  • On May 7, the Board of Immigration Appeals of the Executive Office for Immigration Review held that a Peruvian citizen who illegally registered and voted could be deported for violating federal law. Margarita Del Pilar became a permanent legal resident of the U.S. in 2004. She promptly applied for an Illinois driver’s license and registered to vote at the same time, then cast a ballot in the 2006 congressional election. When she applied for naturalization in 2007, she admitted in the INS interview that she had voted in an American election. Of course, if she had not applied to become a citizen, she could have continued to illegally vote with almost no chance of being detected.

Unfortunately, people who are not citizens are voting in American elections. That is the problem that the sudden influx of illegal aliens will create in the 2016 election. If an illegal alien has a driver’s license, he can illegally register to vote by simply stating that he is an American. This is a serious danger to the integrity of the American election process.

The article also suggests one solution to the problem of non-citizens voting in elections:

One recommendation I have made to state legislatures is to implement legislation that requires court clerks to notify state election officials when individuals called for jury duty are excused because they are not U.S. citizens. Courts get their jury lists from voter registration rolls, and it is a requirement that those who register to vote affirm under oath they are U.S. citizens. Individuals called for jury duty also have to affirm, again under oath, that they are U.S. citizens. And yet in a 2005 study, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that 3 percent of the 30,000 individuals called for jury duty from voter registration rolls over a two-year period in just one U.S. district court were not U.S. citizens.

The Virginia legislature recently passed a common-sense election reform bill (HB 1315), which would have required county jury commissioners to provide local election officials with the names of individuals called for jury duty who turned out to not be U.S. citizens. Local registrars could then remove those illegally registered voters and provide information to local law enforcement and the U.S. Justice Department for investigation and possible prosecution.

Unfortunately, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed this bill. Considering the political history of Governor McAuliffe, that is not a surprise.

 

The Government Doesn’t Even Follow Its Own Laws

The Washington Times is reporting today that the Department of Homeland Security had broken a judge’s order halting the administration’s new deportation amnesty.

The article reports:

The stunning admission, filed just before midnight in Texas, where the case is being heard, is the latest misstep for the administration’s lawyers, who are facing possible sanctions by Judge Hanen for their continued problems in arguing the case.

The Justice Department lawyers said Homeland Security, which is the defendant in the case, told them Wednesday that an immigration agency had approved about 2,000 applications for three-year work permits, which was part of Mr. Obama’s new amnesty, even after Judge Hanen issued his Feb. 16 injunction halting the entire program.

I really have nothing to add to this story other than to say that it is a disgrace. The Obama Administration has shown so little regard for the Constitution and the laws governing America, I guess this really should not be a surprise. However, it is extremely sad that the people charged with upholding our laws have chosen to break them.

Who Will Vote In 2016?

On Thursday, the DC Clothesline posted a story quoting J. Christian Adams, a former United States Department of Justice official in the Civil Rights Division on what is happening in states that are issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

The article quotes Mr. Adams:

“The bigger problem is that when they get those drivers licenses, there’s a government social services agency that is compelled under motor voter to offer voter registration.  For example, I’m representing a client — the American Civil Rights Union. We’re about to file a brief to the Supreme Court that shows actual voter registrations of people who on their voter registration forms that they’re not citizens, but they’re still getting registered to vote.

…“[These will be] the actual voter registrations forms through motor voter.  The point is, because of motor voter in issuing these alien document cards, you’re going to have non-citizens moving on to the voter rolls. It’s inevitable,” said Adams noting, “The Justice Department protects the lawless, because there’s a political benefit to this administration to allow lawlessness to occur. Because if those people who lawlessly are on the voter rolls go to vote, there’s probably a 9 in 10 chance they’re voting for Democrats.”

Unless someone somewhere in government decides to defend the integrity of the American electoral process, this is where we are.

Sometimes Justice Is A Slow Process

On Monday, The Daily Signal reported that Federal District Court Judge Susan Dlott granted a motion to compel and ordered the IRS to produce the names of the 298 targeted organizations identified by the IRS for the Treasury Inspector General. Last week U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald Machen disclosed the Justice Department‘s decision not to charge Lois Lerner with of Congress. This latest decision at least allows the probe of wrong doing by the Internal Revenue Service to continue.

The article reports:

…the plaintiffs have been trying through the discovery process to identify all of the conservative organizations unfairly targeted by the IRS so that they can seek class certification. If they can convince Judge Dlott to certify a class, then the lawsuit would expand from the ten original plaintiffs to all of the organizations on Lois Lerner’s hit list. This would greatly expand the risks to, and potential liability of, the government.

But the IRS, in a fitting bit of irony, refused to turn over the names of the organizations whose applications were mishandled, claiming that would violate the confidentiality requirements of Section 6103.

On April 1, in what must have seemed a cruel April Fool’s joke to the Justice Department lawyers handling the case, Judge Dlott denied a protective order sought by Justice Department to prevent the IRS from being forced to turn over this information. She pointed out that Section 6103 has an exemption for tax information “directly related to an issue in” a judicial proceeding. Since the identity of all of the targeted organizations “is directly related to the issue of class certification in this federal court proceeding,” she granted the plaintiffs’ motion to compel.

According to the article, the IRS will be forced to turn over:

  • All charts, lists, spreadsheets or indexes of groups that had their Applications for Tax Exemption selected or flagged by the IRS for heightened review based on an infamous BOLO (Be On the Look Out) edict issued by IRS officials;
  • The document listing the 298 organizations that the IRS sent the Inspector General on June 11, 2012; and
  • The document titled “Advocacy Case Tracking Sheet” that the IRS sent the Inspector General on the same date.

There is little doubt that the Obama Administration was using the IRS to suppress free speech. Hopefully those at the root of this action will be identified and charged with the appropriate crimes.

The Neighborhood Bully Meets His Match

One of the unpleasant outcomes of the financial crisis of 2008 is the way the Obama Administration has treated many of the banks who wrote some of the bad mortgages. Never mind that many of the bad mortgages were required to be written because of government regulations regarding discrimination or that some of the leading Democrats in Congress were making sure that bad loans were continually being made, the Obama Administration is going to make the big banks pay for bad policy on the part of the government. Well, one bank has decided to stand up to the bully that the federal government has become.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the Japanese bank Nomura is refusing to settle out of court in a case brought against them by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

The article reports:

The claim is that Fan and Fred—the government-created dominators of the mortgage market—were unwitting victims of the banks. To believe this fairy tale, you have to ignore the findings of a bipartisan congressional inquiry, as well as separate federal lawsuits in which the government is arguing that Fan and Fred did the misleading.

Yet regulators figured that the banks would probably cave to avoid unpleasant publicity and a juror pool angry about bank bailouts. And 17 banks did cave, paying the Beltway bandits nearly $18 billion to make these Little Orphan Fannie claims disappear. Firms like Bank of America , Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan all wrote checks to buy peace with the politicos.

Nomura did not settle out of court and the trial is set for March 16. This is causing the government lawyers to lose no small amount of sleep.

The article reports:

In January the feds dropped their claims for damages. The government claims it can recover as much or more from the “equitable” claims, in which Nomura would merely be required to buy back the securities it sold to Fan and Fred. But Nomura says the damage claims were the most lucrative part of the case.

Why would the government want to limit its potential winnings shortly before the trial? Well, because abandoning damage claims lets the government avoid a jury trial. That means leaving it all to federal Judge Denise Cote, who is well known for tilting toward the government against business and has been siding with the feds in pre-trial rulings.

FHFA’s lawyer explained in a recent filing that a “bench trial clearly would conserve time and assets.” That may be true. But when the defendant is a large multinational bank and the government doesn’t want to face a jury in this era of public anger at big banks, that tells you how much confidence the feds have in their case.

This trial could be very interesting. Last fall, Nomura Bank offered evidence to show that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went shopping for sub-prime mortgages in order to align themselves with their political partners.

It would be nice to see this go before a jury that would get a chance to see the true facts of the case. The Obama Administration has engaged in shakedowns of anyone they think they can get money from or anyone they consider a political enemy. It would be nice to see that practice end.

They Are Already Here

The Center for Security Policy posted an article today about six Bosnian immigrants who have been accused of sending money and equipment to Islamic State and Al-Qaeda fighters overseas. The indictment of the six was released Friday.

The article reports:

All six individuals’ names have been released; Mediha Medy Salkicevic from Chicago, 34, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, Armin Harcevic, 37, all three from St. Louis, Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, New York, and Jasminka Ramic, 42, of Rockford Illinois. The indictment states that all knew where the funding was going and that all are Bosnian natives who either legally immigrated to the United States or had refugee status. Five of the six have been already arrested; Ramic has fled the country but the Justice Department has not yet disclosed her location. According to the indictment, Rosic tried to go to Syria to join Islamic State last July.

The suspects used social media such as Facebook to communicate and sent their funding online via PayPal and Western Union. In order to conceal their intentions from any investigation, coded terms were used such as “the beach” for Iraq and Syria as well as “brothers” for Islamic militants. The US Postal Service was used to ship the equipment purchased.

The article concludes:

These most recent arrests show continues to show that the Islamic State continues to possess a powerfully draw on potential supporters, and while this is traditionally understood through the lens of foreign fighters, law enforcement must remain on watch to break up logistic and funding cells such as the one in St. Louis.

If we are to remain safe as Americans, we need to be aware of the threats against us. Susan Rice recently stated that ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States. ISIS specifically may or may not be, but the splinter groups and people inspired by ISIS represent a real threat to America because those groups and people are already here. We accomplish nothing by burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the fact that there are people in America who are currently supporting those who want to end freedom in America.

I Have An Absolute Attitude Problem With This Story

Yesterday Bloombergview posted a story about the fact that the Justice Department is threatening to bring charges against General Petreaus for classified information found on Paula Broadwell‘s computer. Paula Broadwell was writing a biography of the General, and he has been accused of giving her classified information. My first reaction to this is suspicion of the government. I posted a story in October (rightwinggranny) about Sharyl Attkisson, an investigative reporter who has done a tremendous amount of research on Fast and Furious and Benghazi.

The article at rightwinggranny stated:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

…“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

Considering the thuggish tactics often used by the Obama Administration, it is very possible that they did the same thing to Paul Broadwell’s computer.

So what is this really all about? Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story that provides some interesting information.

The story at Power Line states:

Petraeus denies that he gave classified information to Broadwell. However, FBI officials reportedly found such documents on her computer after Petraeus resigned from the CIA when news of the affair became public. But it does not appear that the disclosure by Petraeus, if any, resulted in harm to the nation.

Indeed, President Obama has said that he knows of no evidence that Petraeus disclosed classified information “that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security.” Obama has also said that “we are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done.”

General Petraeus is going to be called to testify before the Congressional Committee investigating Benghazi. I am inclined to believe that this is a warning shot across the General’s bow designed to control his testimony. I hope the intimidation effort by the Obama Administration fails miserably.

The IRS Smoking Gun Will Be Released Tuesday Morning

The Daily Caller posted a story today stating that they have received an advance copy of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that definitively proves malicious intent by the IRS to improperly block conservative groups that an IRS adviser deemed “icky.”

The article lists six findings from the report:

1. The IRS admitted that the front office was “spinning” about the targeting rumors as early as 2012, after IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman denied the tea party targeting to Congress.

2. Then-IRS commissioner Steven T. Miller almost broke down and told the truth about the tea party targeting at a July 2012 hearing, but Lerner’s sidekick Nikole Flax told him not to.

3. The IRS definitely treated tea party applications by a different standard than applications from other (c)(4) groups.

4. Lois Lerner expressed her frustration about having to potentially approve a lot of groups, and her colleagues in the agency assured her that she wouldn’t have to.

5. So the IRS reached out to outside advisers to help come up with ways to deny tax-exempt status to “icky” organizations.

6. A May 2011 email from a lawyer in the IRS chief counsel’s office made clear that the agency sought to use a new “gift tax” to target donors to nonprofit political groups.

Lying to Congress is perjury and I believe it carries a jail term. Unfortunately, the charges would have to be brought by the Justice Department, and I don’t see that happening. At any rate, this information needs to be shouted across the media, although my bet is that most of the  media won’t report it.

The Creeping Bureaucracy Of Washington

Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at National Review Online about the recent events involving police that have gotten so much publicity. Mr. McCarthy’s theory is that Eric Holder has inserted himself into these events not because they are civil rights issues, but because he can use these events to exert federal power over local law enforcement.

The article reports:

Civil-rights investigations in Ferguson and Staten Island? No, what denizens of St. Louis and New York City ought to be worried about right now is . . . the crime wave overtaking Seattle.

If you don’t understand why, then you probably thought Obamacare was about covering the uninsured. Like its health-care “reform” campaign, the Obama Left’s civil-rights crusade is about control — central control of state law enforcement by Washington.

The deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York are each tragic in their own way. But in neither is there a federal civil-rights case to be had. To think otherwise, you have to be getting your advice from Al Sharpton — the huckster confidant of President Obama and Attorney General Holder.

So what has happened in Seattle that should have us all concerned?

The article reports:

Seattle is another of the big cities that has been targeted by the DOJ. It has been under a consent decree since the Justice Department targeted it in 2012 for a “pattern or practice” of violations, allegedly including “subjecting individuals to excessive force” — in particular, “using excessive force against persons of color,” and “escalating situations and using excessive force when arresting individuals for minor offenses.”

…Meanwhile, Seattle has been making announcements, too. It seems crime in the Emerald City has been skyrocketing since the Justice Department came in to, er, help. Homicides up 21 percent, car theft up 44 percent, aggravated assaults up 14 percent, and so on.

Welcome to Change: produced and directed by the Obama Justice Department and coming soon to a town near you.

Although I agree with Andrew McCarthy that what is happening in Ferguson and Staten Island is about control, I also think there is another purpose. One of the characteristics of the Obama Administration has been to create division between different groups of people. The ‘war on women’ was an attempt to create division among the sexes, the so-called ‘problem of income inequality’ was to create class warfare, and the focus on the two unfortunate deaths in law-enforcement situations undermines the authority of the police and can also be used to create racial division and tension. Unless Americans wake up and realize that they are being manipulated by a Chicago thug, we are in for a really ugly next two years.

All Accounts Have Not Been Settled

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line about one aspect of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal that has not gotten as much publicity as some other aspects of the scandal.

The article reports:

The Obama Administration’s IRS scandal is multi-faceted. In addition to the persecution of conservative non-profits by Lois Lerner et al., the question has been percolating for some years whether Obama’s IRS has transferred confidential taxpayer information to Obama’s White House in violation of federal criminal laws. The issue first arose when Austin Goolsbee of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers told reporters that he had information about Koch Industries that could only have come, illegally, from confidential IRS files. When questions were asked, the administration immediately clammed up.

Years later, the judicial system may be poised to expose another layer of Obama corruption. A group called Cause of Action began a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of the Treasury, and for several years, your taxpayer dollars have funded the administration’s cover-up.

The cover-up is beginning to unravel. A federal court in Washington, D.C. has ordered the Treasury Department to respond to Cause of Action’s request for documents.

The article further reports:

The Treasury Department’s lawyers wrote Cause of Action’s counsel an email that reads in part:

My client wants to know if you would consent to a motion pushing back (in part) TIGTA’s response date by two weeks to December 15, 2014. The agency has located 2,500 potentially responsive documents and anticipates being able to finish processing 2,000 of these pages by the December 1 date. It needs the additional two weeks to deal with the last 500 pages to determine if they are responsive and make any necessary withholdings. We would therefore like to ask the court to permit the agency to issue a response (including production) on December 1 as to any documents it has completed processing by that date, and do the same as to the remaining documents by December 15.

I suspect a good part o the time the government has requested will be spent attempting to scrub the documents of anything incriminating, but even at that, it is a pretty safe bet that some very damaging information will be revealed.

The story concludes:

This particular story is farce, not tragedy. It will wend its absurd way through the court system for years to come, probably arriving at no conclusion until the scofflaw Obama administration is safely out of office. In the meantime, federal criminal laws governing the privacy of IRS data, like the criminal laws generally, are a source of hilarity among Democrats. Democrat cronies sip Scotch and light cigars–I hope not with $100 bills–laughing at the rest of us who work to pay the taxes that support them in the luxury to which they have happily become accustomed. I have always thought that the term “ruling class” was ridiculous as applied to the United States, but the Obama administration is causing me to re-think that view.

How many members of the Nixon administration ultimately went to jail? I think no more than five or ten. The Obama administration has violated criminal statutes with an abandon that Nixon and his minions never dreamed of. An accounting remains; I think there are a considerable number of Obama minions and cronies who should be behind bars.

If the Department of Justice ever returns to being a Department of Justice, I believe much what has happened to the IRS and the Justice Department under President Obama will be undone. If the damage is not undone, we will be in danger of losing our representative republic.

Have We Forgotten That Actions Have Consquences?

It is a shame that Michael Brown is dead. It is also a shame that a policeman was injured when Michael Brown attacked him and that because of racism on the part of some Americans, that policeman will never be seen as justified in defending himself against Michael Brown.

Michael Brown did three things that were consequential. First, he committed a minor robbery from a store. Second, he chose to walk down the middle of the street, drawing attention to himself. Third, he attacked a policeman. (The press conference last night stated that the Grand Jury had evidence that Michael Brown attacked Darren Wilson.) All three of these actions had consequences.

The Daily Caller reported late last night that Eric Holder has stated that the Justice Department‘s investigation of the incident is not over yet. Why? What are they looking for? Does Attorney General Holder believe that it is acceptable to attack a police officer? Or rob a store? Does Attorney General Holder believe that policemen have the right to defend themselves? Would Attorney General Holder be as concerned if Michael Brown had shot Darren Wilson with Darren Wilson’s gun?

The article quotes Attorney General Holder:

“Though there will be disagreement with the grand jury’s decision not to indict, this feeling should not lead to violence,” Holder said. “It does not honor [Michael Brown’s] memory to engage in violence or looting.”

Michael Brown’s memory? One of the last acts of Michael Brown was to rob a store. He only robbed something small, but he robbed a store. I am sure Michael Brown had many positive traits, but he made some very foolish mistakes and paid a very high price for them. He should be held up as an example of what not to do–not as a helpless victim.

 

An Interesting Perspective On The Coming Amnesty

On November 16, The Wall Street Journal posted an editorial entitled, “The Missing Immigration Memo.” The editorial asked if President Obama has sought or received written legal justification from the Attorney General or the Justice Department‘s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) for his coming Executive Order on amnesty.

The editorial points out that on previous actions such as drone strikes or targeting U.S. citizens abroad, the President asked the OLC for advice on the boundaries of Presidential authority.

The editorial states:

It’s possible Messrs. Obama and Holder haven’t sought an immigration opinion because they suspect there’s little chance that even a pliant Office of Legal Counsel could find a legal justification. Prosecutorial discretion is a vital legal concept, but it is supposed to be exercised in individual cases, not to justify a refusal to follow the law against entire classes of people.

White House leakers are also whispering as a legal excuse that Congress has provided money to deport only 400,000 illegal migrants a year. But a President cannot use lack of funds to justify a wholesale refusal to enforce a statute. There is never enough money to enforce every federal law at any given time, and lack of funds could by used in the future by any President to refuse to enforce any statute. Imagine a Republican President who decided not to enforce the Clean Air Act.

The President and the Democrat party need to realize that the President’s actions have resulted in the decline of the Democrat party. Do they really want a Republican President who operates under the precedent of this sort of power grab?

Amoral vs. Immoral

According to the ConstitutionCenter.org:

If there is a lesson in all of this it is that our Constitution is neither a self-actuating nor a self-correcting document. It requires the constant attention and devotion of all citizens. There is a story, often told, that upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer was: “A republic, if you can keep it.” The brevity of that response should not cause us to under-value its essential meaning: democratic republics are not merely founded upon the consent of the people, they are also absolutely dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people for their continued good health.

Somehow we have not done as good a job of keeping our republic as we might have. The recent election was a ray of hope, but we have a long way to go to get back to the government our Founding Fathers envisioned.

Fox News is reporting:

The Justice Department released nearly 65,000 pages of subpoenaed documents related to the DOJ’s botched gunrunning sting, after a federal judge overruled the Obama administration’s decision to withhold the records by invoking executive privilege. The program, which targeted Mexican gun cartels, came under scrutiny after weapons involved in the operation were connected to the killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010.

“Issa and his idiot cronies never gave a damn about this when all that was happening was that thousands of Mexicans were being killed with guns from our country,” Holder wrote to members of his staff in April 2011, after Issa threatened to subpoena a Federal Firearms Licensee witness to testify on the investigation. “All they want to do — in reality — is cripple ATF and suck up to the gun lobby,” he continued, referring to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the branch of the Justice Department that was in charge of the gunrunning operation.

“Politics at its worst — maybe the media will get it,” Holder’s email added.

It is obvious from that statement that Eric Holder did not believe he had done anything wrong. There is no acknowledgement that running guns to Mexico might be illegal or immoral.

According to the dictionary:

amoral – lacking a moral sense; unconcerned with the rightness or wrongness of something

immoral – not conforming to accepted standards of morality

Somehow we have morphed from the representative republic created by the U.S. Constitution to a country ruled by a bunch of elite political class who can no longer distinguish between right and wrong. If we do not remedy this situation in 2016, we will lose our republic.

Also, please note that the documents released were released on the eve of the election in the hopes that no one would pay attention to them.

 

 

Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out

I am glad to see Eric Holder leave the Obama Administration. Although he is not the first Attorney General to have politicized the office, he certainly took that politicization to a new level. Unfortunately, his replacement will probably be more of the same.

The Daily Signal posted an article listing the various controversies surrounding Eric Holder during his time in office. They are listed in no particular order. This is my summary of the list:

1. Attempting to bring the 9/11 plotters to a civilian trial in New York City. Eventually he was forced to bow to public pressure and the trials were moved to Guantanamo.

2. Operation Fast and Furious.

3. Refusing to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) despite being charged as Attorney General to uphold the law of the land.

4. Eric Holder is the first Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress for withholding documents relating to Fast and Furious.

5. Targeting journalists. The Department of Justice under Eric Holder seized a broad array of phone records of Associated Press journalists.

6. Operation Choke Point, originally established to stop consumer fraud is being used to target gun shops and pawn shops that sell guns.

7. Stonewalling in the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service‘s targeting of conservative groups.

8. Intervention in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

9. Blocking Inspectors General from accessing documents related to Congressional investigations.

The article concludes:

Often cited among Holder’s controversies are his targeting of journalists and federal whistleblowers. Last year, it was revealed that the Justice Department had labeled Fox News reporters James Rosen a “co-conspirator” in one leak investigation and had seized phone records of Associated Press reporters in another.

More than two dozen news organizations signed a letter of objection, prompting Holder to modify Justice Department policies. Additionally, Holder has refused to answer questions first posed by a U.S. senator in July 2013 regarding the unauthorized, remote intrusions of my computers.

Holder also leaves the Justice Department in the middle of its investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative and tea party groups. The Justice Department has faced conflict-of-interest allegations because at the same time it is supposed to be independently investigating the IRS, it is also defending the IRS in civil litigation. Holder has said that his agency is impartially investigating the IRS and that no politics are at play.

It became obvious that Eric Holder was not going to dispense justice in an even-handed manner when he dropped the voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia. The video that went viral on Facebook clearly showed the Panthers intimidating voters, but the Holder Justice Department dismissed the charges. Eric Holder has also used the Justice Department to attack laws that would ensure less fraud in American elections. I am not sad to see him leave. My only regret is that he will be replaced by someone equally politically corrupt.

President Nixon Would Be Green With Envy

On Friday the Associated Press posted an article stating that emails have been lost from five more Internal Revenue Service (IRS) workers who are being investigated in relation to the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.

Today, Townhall.com posted the reaction of the lawyer who is representing those conservative groups.

Townhall.com quotes Attorney Mitchell’s reaction:

Attorney Cleta Mitchell, who is representing many tea party and conservative groups targeted by the IRS, isn’t impressed and not surprised about the latest round of “lost” emails.

“I have gotten to the point where this is like one of those infomercials where they say ‘wait, wait, there’s more!’ I mean just when you think you’ve heard it all, you find out more things about the IRS and frankly I think what Congressman Camp said is absolutely right that there is no way we are getting anywhere close to the truth about what happened and the DOJ has become, in my opinion has become complicit in trying to cover-up what’s been going on. I think we have to have a special prosecutor if we are ever going to get to the bottom of it,” Mitchell said in an interview with Fox News

Attorney Mitchell was recently interviewed on Fox News. You can watch the interview at the Townhall.com link above.

 

If Congress Won’t Pass It, Do It Anyway

Yesterday’s Daily Caller is reporting that the Justice Department has found a new way to legalize the flood of illegal immigrants.

The article reports:

The Department of Justice’s board of immigration appeals has decided to let Guatemalan women win asylum in the United States if they claim to be victims of domestic violence.

The decision creates a huge new incentive for Guatemalan women to cross the U.S. border, because if their asylum claim is accepted, their children get U.S. citizenship, plus the use of federal health, education and retirement programs, regardless of their initial education and work skills.

The article points out that the immigration courts are under the Justice Department–not the judiciary. So the decision to allow illegals to stay is in the Executive Branch of the government. It is another power grab that ignores the wishes of Congress and the American people.

The article points out:

Since 2009, the Department of Homeland Security quietly reversed a prior policy that said victims of domestic violence don’t count as a “social group” for immigration purposes.

Note that this was done by the Department of Homeland Security–not by Congress.

It would be political suicide for the Republicans to impeach President Obama; however, that is exactly what he deserves. The only chance Americans have of keeping their representative republic is to elect congressmen who have read and support the Constitution. Please remember that in November.

Why Has It Taken So Long For The Public To Learn This?

Fox News is reporting today that the IRS emails that Lois Lerner claimed to have lost may exist on back-up computers. Politico posted a story at the end of July that summarizes the timeline on this whole scandal.

Politico reports:

Backgrounder recap: It all started in May 2013, when ex-IRS tax-exempt chief Lois Lerner acknowledged the agency inappropriately used loaded key words like “tea party” to scrutinize applicants seeking tax breaks. A critical inspector general report followed, Lerner and others stepped down, and here we are, dozens of congressional hearings later.

Although the Justice Department, FBI and Treasury inspector general for tax administration are all probing the matter, it could be awhile before they issue final reports on how and why the ex-IRS official at the heart of the scandal lost two years’ worth of emails, the latest wrinkle in the controversy.

When the Ways and Means Committee began investigating the IRS scandal, they requested Lois Lerner’s emails. In June the Committee was told the emails were missing and that the IRS had been aware of that fact since February.

I hate to be cynical (although sometimes it is necessary), but do you think that the IRS and the Justice Department have had enough time to sanitize those emails and delete anything that might be incriminating? I strongly suspect that when the emails are released, there will be nothing even remotely problematic for the IRS. The emails will be strangely innocent.

Were it not for the efforts of Judicial Watch using the Freedom of Information Act, the IRS and Justice Department would not even have to take the time to clean up the emails. At least Judicial Watch is forcing the IRS to spend some time covering their tracks.

I Really Wonder What This Is All About

Ferguson continues to have problems finding peace and healing. Somehow the death of a young man who robbed a store has resulted in riots and looting. The witness accounts of the events contradict each other–the young man’s accomplice claims that Michael Brown was surrendering to the police. Other witnesses say that he was charging the policeman. There are some serious questions regarding the initial event that preceded the riots, and there are some serious questions about the actions of various people since the trouble began.

Yesterday the Independent Journal Review reported that the release of the video of Michael Brown committing a robbery minutes before he was shot was delayed due to pressure from the Department of Justice.

The article cites a CNN report:

…Friday’s release of the store-theft video by Ferguson police occurred over the objections of federal authorities, a law enforcement official told CNN on Saturday.
Ferguson police had wanted to release the video Thursday but held off when the U.S. Justice Department asked them not to, arguing that doing so would increase tensions in the community, the source said.
But Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson released it Friday, announcing for the first time that Brown was suspected of stealing cigars from Ferguson Market and Liquor shortly before noon August 9, minutes before Wilson encountered and shot him.

The release of that video might have calmed things down early on by shattering the myth that Michael Brown was a model child. Most model children do not rob stores.

So what is all of the rioting, looting, and protesting about? Well, it keeps the news away from the genocide of Christians that is happening in the Middle East. It might distract people from the fact that the middle class is losing ground financially. It might cause people to forget the disaster of ObamaCare and other failures associated with the Obama Administration. If the American people can be distracted by the general mess the country is in right now, they might be inclined to vote for Democrat Congressional candidates. Those are just a few suggestions as to what the extensive reporting of the trouble in Ferguson might be about.

One last thought. An electorate united to clean up Washington would be a serious threat to the Washington establishment. An America that is divided along racial, economic, social, or other lines is no threat to those politicians who are in politics simply for their own gain. A well-educated, united electorate could make a positive difference in the direction of America. The people who are stirring up divisions among us may have a different agenda.