Why It Is So Hard To Get Anything Done In Washington

The Federal Reserve is neither federal nor a reserve. It is the vehicle that moves money around the country. The fed controls interest rates and the money supply. There are some real questions as to whether or not the Fed accountable to anyone.

In 1994, the book The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin was published. The book tells the story of the creation of the Federal Reserve. It chronicles the secret journey from New Jersey to Jekyll Island (to create the federal reserve) in Senator Nelson Aldrich’s private railroad car by such luminaries as Abraham Piatt Andrew, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, Frank A. Vanderlip, president of the National City Bank of New York, Harry P. Davison, senior partner of the J.P. Morgan Company, and Benjamin Strong, head of J.P. Morgan’s Bankers Trust Company. I strongly suggest reading the book to discover how the Federal Reserve was passed through Congress and formed.

Fast forward to March 29, 2017. One America News Network is reporting that the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has approved a bill to allow a congressional audit of Federal Reserve monetary policy. Democrats have uniformly spoken out against the idea.

The article reports:

Republican President Donald Trump expressed support for audits of the U.S. central bank during his election campaign, but it remained unclear whether the White House would back the proposal.

Republicans proposed numerous bills during the Obama administration to open the Fed up to deeper scrutiny, arguing the added transparency would ensure the Fed was accountable and free of outside influence.

Currently, the Fed publishes detailed audits of its finances but it keeps the inner workings of its monetary policy deliberations secret, publishing transcripts of policy meetings only with a five-year lag.

The proposal approved on Tuesday would “put an end to that reign of secrecy,” said Representative Thomas Massie, the Kentucky Republican who submitted the bill.

The House has already passed versions of the bill twice, with dozens of Democrats joining nearly unanimous Republican support in 2012 and 2014. Those versions of the legislation died in the Senate.

The article also cites the example of Representative Stephen Lynch, a Democrat from Massachusetts, who voted for similar legislation in 2012 and 2014, but spoke against the current proposal because he fears political interference at the Fed.

It goes without saying that there will be a group of establishment politicians who will oppose an audit of the Fed. The Fed is another example of something put in place by politicians that has a major impact on the finances of every American, yet very few Americans know its history or how it works. It is probably one of the least transparent institutions in Washington. It is time to audit the Fed.

You Really Can’t Hide The Truth Forever

The New York Post reported Saturday that thanks to a judge in Washington, D.C., the story of Justice Department obstruction in the investigation of Fast and Furious is finally coming out.

The article reports:

A federal judge has forced the release of more than 20,000 pages of emails and memos previously locked up under President Obama’s phony executive-privilege claim. A preliminary review shows top Obama officials deliberately obstructing congressional probes into the border gun-running operation.

Fast and Furious was a Justice Department program that allowed assault weapons — including .50-caliber rifles powerful enough to take down a helicopter — to be sold to Mexican drug cartels allegedly as a way to track them. But internal documents later revealed the real goal was to gin up a crisis requiring a crackdown on guns in America. Fast and Furious was merely a pretext for imposing stricter gun laws.

Only, the scheme backfired when Justice agents lost track of the nearly 2,000 guns sold through the program and they started turning up at murder scenes on both sides of the border — including one that claimed the life of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

While then-Attorney General Eric Holder was focused on politics, people were dying. At least 20 other deaths or violent crimes have been linked to Fast and Furious-trafficked guns.

The article further explains:

The degree of obstruction was “more than previously understood,” House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz said in a recent memo to other members of his panel.

“The documents reveal how senior Justice Department officials — including Attorney General Holder — intensely followed and managed an effort to carefully limit and obstruct the information produced to Congress,” he asserted.

They also indict Holder deputy Lanny Breuer, an old Clinton hand, who had to step down in 2013 after falsely denying authorizing Fast and Furious.

Their efforts to impede investigations included:

  • Devising strategies to redact or otherwise withhold relevant information;
  • Manipulating media coverage to control fallout;
  • Scapegoating the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for the scandal.

For instance, a June 2011 e-mail discusses withholding ATF lab reports from Congress, and a July 2011 e-mail details senior Justice officials agreeing to “stay away from a representation that we’ll fully cooperate.”

The best quote in the article:

Though Obama prides himself on openness, transparency and accountability, the behavior of his administration belies such lofty principles. “Transparency should not require years of litigation and a court order,” Chaffetz pointed out.

Please follow the link and read the entire article. There are a number of people currently in the Obama Administration who, based on their emails, should be in jail for obstructing justice. Unfortunately, whether or not that happens will depend on who the next President is.

The Clintons Seem To Have A Hard Time Playing By The Rules

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a story about a Congressional request for the documents related to ethics office discussions with the Clinton Foundation and both Clintons about speech fee disclosures made since Dec. 2008, when Clinton struck a deal with the White House just before becoming secretary of state. The article explains that the deal imposed stricter reporting requirements on Bill Clinton and the family’s foundation given Hillary Clinton’s impending position as the nation’s chief diplomat.

The article reports:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz pressed the Office of Government Ethics last week for an explanation of its decision to exempt Clinton from laws compelling public officials to disclose all forms of income.

“Earlier this year, press reports indicated that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband failed to disclose millions of dollars in paid speeches over the past thirteen years under the belief they did not have a duty to report that because the speeches were delivered on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, and not in the Secretary’s or the President’s personal capacity,” Chaffetz wrote.

The Utah Republican cited “at least five speeches” for which Clinton routed her speaking fee to the philanthropy between 2014 and 2015. She did not list that income on her disclosure form as the law typically requires.

Bill and Hillary Clinton have amassed a tremendous amount of money since leaving the White House. A lot of that money has been channeled through the Clinton Foundation, which the Charity Navigator refused to rate because its “atypical business model . . . doesn’t meet our criteria.” The Federalist posted an article in April pointing out that the Clinton Foundation actually spends approximately 10 percent of its donations on charity.

It is time to examine closely the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons’ sources of income. Hopefully, Congress will not be blocked in this investigation.

No, The Videos Were Not Manipulated

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article about the testimony of Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards before the House Oversight Committee hearing. Ms. Richards is quoted as saying, “I think everyone has agreed they were heavily edited.” The problem with that statement is that it is not true. The videos have been shown to be accurate by both supporters and foes of Planned Parenthood.

The article reports:

Alliance Defending Freedom hired tech firm Coalfire Systems to perform a forensic analysis of the undercover videos, in order to disprove claims they were “highly edited.” Planned Parenthood doctors discuss harvesting and selling aborted fetuses to researchers in the footage.

 “Coalfire’s analysis of the recorded media files contained on the flash drive indicates that the video recordings are authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing,” the report released Tuesday states.

The article further states:

An earlier analysis commissioned by Planned Parenthood also found the videos were not meaningfully edited, in spite of the brief cuts and skips. Planned Parenthood hired Fusion GPS — a Democratic opposition research firm — to perform the analysis.

“This analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation, but we did identify cuts, skips, missing tape, and changes in camera angle,” the report concludes. And the analysts “found no evidence that CMP inserted dialogue not spoken by Planned Parenthood staff.”

The videos are accurate. The question now is, “Do Americans want to continue sending taxpayer dollars to an organization that is selling aborted baby body parts?”

What kind of a nation are we going to be?

 

The Danger Of An Overly Powerful Government

The Founding Fathers attempted to create a government that included checks and balances to prevent one branch of government from becoming too powerful. Unfortunately they did not prepare for a powerful bureaucracy that would do anything it could to protect itself.

In October I posted an article about problems within the Secret Service. Various scandals have been or are being investigated by Congress. The Washington Post posted a story today about the actions taken by some employees of the Secret Service in retaliation for the investigation.

The article reports:

The Secret Service’s assistant director urged that unflattering information the agency had in its files about a congressman critical of the service should be made public, according to a government watchdog report released Wednesday.

“Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out,” Assistant Director Edward Lowery wrote in an e-mail to a fellow director on March 31, commenting on an internal file that was being widely circulated inside the service. “Just to be fair.”

Two days later, a news Web site reported that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, had applied to be a Secret Service agent in 2003 and been rejected.

That information was part of Chaffetz’s personnel file stored in a restricted Secret Service database and required by law to be kept private.

The House Oversight Committee is there to investigate misconduct by government agencies. It is unfortunate that the Secret Service chose to respond to an investigation into their misbehavior in this manner.

The thuggery that one associates with Chicago politics has been given free rein in Washington since the Obama Administration came to town. We have a chance to change the culture in Washington in 2016. Our freedom is at stake.

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.

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.

 

Reversing A Bad Decision

This statement was released yesterday. It is an illustration of what happens when Americans pay attention and get involved. The Washington establishment Republicans were attempting to discipline the conservative wing of the party. The uproar from the grass roots resulted in a rethinking of that decision. Ordinary Americans can make a difference–they just have to speak out when they see something they believe is wrong.

Joint Statement on Meadows’ Reinstatement as Chair of Government Operations

Jun 25, 2015
| Press Release

WASHINGTON—House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) jointly issued the following statements regarding the chairmanship of the Government Operations Subcommittee.

“Last week I announced a change in the Government Operations sub-committee chairmanship. A number of people have asked me to reconsider that decision. Having spoken with Mark Meadows several times during the past week, I think we both better understand each other. I respect Mark and his approach. The discussions and candor have been healthy and productive. Ultimately, I believe we both want to do what is best for the country. Obviously I believe in Mark Meadows or I would not have appointed him to this position in the first place. It is in the best interest of the Committee to move forward together. Therefore, I have asked Mark to continue in his role as sub-committee Chairman,” said Chairman Chaffetz.

“I greatly appreciate Chairman Jason Chaffetz’ willingness to reconsider his decision, as well as my Oversight and Government Reform Committee colleagues’ support. I will continue to vote and conduct myself in accordance with my conscience, what my constituents want me to do, and what is best for the country. I look forward to continuing my work as Subcommittee Chairman of Government Operations under the leadership of the Oversight Committee Chairman. I know we are both dedicated to conducting real and meaningful oversight for the American people,” said Congressman Meadows.

Unfortunately Both Political Parties Are Involved In Benghazi

The Republicans control the House of Representatives and the Senate. Therefore,it should be easy to investigate what happened at Benghazi, despite the fact that the Democrats involved are experts at stonewalling. Well, new information that has come to light indicates that part of the problem with the investigation may be that there are also Republicans involved that would like to keep the details of what happened at Benghazi secret.

On Thursday, The Daily Caller posted an article about some new information that has come out as a result of the emails that are finally getting released.

The article reports:

Perhaps most intriguing in the recent email batch is a one-line note to Mrs. Clinton from a top advisor, Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan. The subject of the September 10, 2011 email is simply “Rogers.” The note in its entirety reads: “Apparently wants to see you to talk Libya/weapons.”

“Rogers” is then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican. The email was unearthed at the deep end of the document dump and first noted in a piece by Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne of Fox News.

Chairman Rogers and other GOP House committee chairman spent a good deal of time opposing the formation of the Benghazi Select Committee. As Eli Lake reported last year, Rogers “warned his colleagues” about the committee. Lake reported that “the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Armed Services, and Government Reform committees — Reps. Rogers, Buck McKeon, and Darrell Issa, respectively — all opposed the formation of a select committee on Benghazi.”

The story goes on to detail the connection between Representative Rogers and his wife and Benghazi. In 2014, Representative Rogers abruptly resigned from the House of Representative. About the same time his wife left an executive position at Aegis Defense Services, a private defense contractor. This may be totally coincidental, but it illustrates one thing–America has developed a political class that sometimes puts its personal interests ahead of the interests of our country. That is a major problem in our government right now.

Please follow the link above to The Daily Caller to read the entire story. This story is one more example of why term limits are a good idea. There seems to be something in the water in Washington that makes people compromise the principles they claimed to have before they got there. Maybe if we limit their terms of office, the effect of the water will be minimal.

We owe a debt to Representative Trey Gowdy for continuing this investigation despite opposition from his own party.

More Thuggery In The Obama Administration

Anyone who even tries to look into the activities of the Obama Administration can expect some sort of retaliation or intimidation. We have seen that pattern in the six years of this administration. The Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service, to name two, are among the agencies used by the government to silence dissent, intimidate any opposition, or sidetrack investigations into corruption. Recently there has been a new example.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about a recent leak from the Secret Service that House Oversight chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) had been rejected when he attempted to join the Secret Service. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and acting Secret Service chief Joseph Clancy have both apologized for the leak, but that doesn’t change the fact that the leak occurred. I am sure that the fact that Representative Chaffetz is investigating the Secret Service for its recent failures has nothing to do with the leak. Yeah, right.

The article reports:

Senior staffers for a House committee overseeing the Secret Service have asked the Obama administration to investigate complaints that agency employees circulated private personnel information revealing that the panel’s chairman was once rejected for a job as an agent, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The committee staff referred the issue Thursday to the Department of Homeland Security after receiving whistleblower complaints that Secret Service staff at agency headquarters had circulated potentially unflattering information about Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). He has been an outspoken critic of Secret Service managers after a string of security lapses.

Chicago politics has truly come to Washington.

Even the Democrats are beginning to be embarrassed. The article reports:

“I won’t be intimidated, but I’m sure that’s what it’s intended to do,” [Chaffetz] said.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking Democratic member of the committee, called the allegations “disturbing” and agreed with Johnson that they must be thoroughly investigated.

“If that’s true, I find it appalling,” Cummings said. “There is absolutely no room for this kind of activity in the Secret Service… If true, it simply continues to erode the credibility of one of our most important agencies.”

If this sort of behavior continues, we will become a banana republic. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has already refused to let Secret Service members testify before the Committee investigating them (makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?).

Congress needs to develop some backbone and stand up to the bullying and intimidation tactics of the Obama Administration. It sounds as if Representative Chaffetz is willing to do just that.

Do We Really Want To Do This?

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted a story about the cost of President Obama’s executive order on amnesty. This executive order has major consequences.

The article reports:

The lifetime costs of Social Security and Medicare benefits of illegal immigrant beneficiaries of President Obama’s executive amnesty would be well over a trillion dollars, according to Heritage Foundation expert Robert Rector’s prepared testimony for a House panel obtained in advance by Breitbart News.

Rector, a senior research fellow at Heritage, is slated to speak on the costs of Obama’s executive amnesty Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He will testify to the high entitlement costs of granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

Based on Rector’s calculations, which assume that at least 3.97 illegal immigrants would apply for and receive legal status under Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (DAPA), and that the average DAPA beneficiary would have a 10th grade education, the costs would be immense.

Specifically, in 2010 dollars, the lifetime costs of Social Security benefits to DAPA beneficiaries would be about $1.3 trillion.

This would be a problem for the federal government.

The article also calculates the cost of welfare benefits to the new immigrants.

The article explains:

“On average, the combined cost of means-tested welfare benefits currently received, the EITC and ACTC cash, and potential Obamacare benefits would come to $17,800 per year per DAPA family,” Rector’s testimony reads. “The aggregate cost would be over $35 billion per year.”

In terms of what DAPA eligible individuals would contribute in tax payments once they are “on the books,” Rector estimates that “Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) and federal income tax revenues would increase by about $7.2 billion per year.”

As you watch the fight for executive amnesty unfold, you might want to add the Cloward Piven Strategy to your list of possible explanations for this fight.

TeaPartyInTheHills defines Cloward Piven as follows:

The strategy was first proposed in 1966 by Columbia University political scientists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven as a plan to bankrupt the welfare system and produce radical change. Sometimes known as the “crisis strategy” or the the “flood-the-rolls, bankrupt-the-cities strategy,” the Cloward-Piven approach called for swamping the welfare rolls with new applicants – more than the system could bear. It was hoped that the resulting economic collapse would lead to political turmoil and ultimately socialism.

The National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), founded by African-American militant George Alvin Wiley, put the Cloward-Piven strategy to work in the streets. Its activities led directly to the welfare crisis that bankrupted New York City in 1975.

Veterans of NWRO went on to found the Living Wage Movement and the Voting Rights Movement, both of which rely on the Cloward-Piven strategy and both of which are spear-headed by the radical cult ACORN.

Both the Living Wage and Voting Rights movements depend heavily on financial support from George Soros‘s Open Society Institute.

 Something to consider.

 

 

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.

When The Government Interferes With The Free Market, Bad Things Happen

Fox News is reporting today that the Ivanpah solar plant is applying for a federal grant to pay off its federal loan. Can I get another credit card to pay off my credit card?

The article reports:

The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan. If approved by the U.S. Treasury, the two corporations will not use their own money, but taxpayer cash to pay off 30 percent of the cost of their plant, but taxpayers will receive none of the millions in revenues the plant will generate over the next 30 years.

But solar is the new green energy, so what is the problem?

The article explains:

But since then the plant has not lived up to its clean energy promise. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the plant produced only about a quarter of the power it’s supposed to, a disappointing 254,263 megawatt-hours of electricity from January through August, not the million megawatt-hours it promised.

A NRG spokesman blamed the weather, saying the sun didn’t shine as often as years of studies predicted. However by the four-year mark, NRG has “every confidence that the plant will function as anticipated for the life of the facility,”according to the company.

And then there is the bird issue:

The problem is that birds see the mirrors as water. As they approach, the 800º F solar beams roast any bird that happens to fly by. A recent study released by the California Energy Commission conducted by the Center for Biological Diversity called Ivanpah a “mega-trap” that will kill up to 28,000 birds a year.

And then there is the crony capitalism issue:

The plants’ owner at the time, BrightSource Energy, said it will likely kill only a thousand birds a year. BrightSource came under scrutiny by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and investigators found the company received direct “guidance and support from the White House” for how it obtained its $1.6 billion in federal loans.

It’s time to unelect every member of Congress who is spending money on projects such as this. No wonder we are broke.

Even The Census Bureau Is Fudging Numbers

Yesterday the New York Post reported that workers in the Census Bureau in the Los Angeles area have been have been manipulating the economic data.

The article reports:

Contact information for the veteran Census worker — who reached out to me by e-mail recently and whom I interviewed by phone — has been turned over to congressional investigators who are looking into data falsification in other parts of the country.

“Everybody knows falsification is going on,” the whistleblower told me, adding the malfeasance in the LA region is so obvious that it’s hard to miss.

She said she’s coming forward now because she “applauds” the others who have spoken up already.

Census employees have blown the whistle on the Denver and Philadelphia regions. A Denver whistleblower recently turned over information to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Part of the problem here is that Americans have evidently grown tired of answering surveys and have become very wary of anything that might invade their privacy. Meanwhile, some of the Field Service Areas (FSA’s) are reporting a 100 percent response to their surveys–something that is highly unlikely at any time.

Why does this matter? Aside from the obvious fact that our government is lying to us, why is this important?

The article explains:

The stakes are high, of course. The Bureau of Labor Statistics requires a 90 percent success rate for interviews that go into the Current Population Survey, which Census conducts on BLS’ behalf. It’s those results that are used to calculate the nation’s monthly unemployment rate.

“To be perfectly honest, the BLS should be questioning the data, not just you alone,” the LA whistleblower said.

Who knows what the real unemployment rate actually is.

Eric Holder Resigns

Eric Holder is expected to resign later this afternoon.

The Washington Times posted a story about his resignation today. The article included the following:

The contempt of Congress case against Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. — the first sitting Cabinet member ever to face such a congressional rebuke — will continue even after his resignation takes effect, but it’s unlikely he will ever face personal punishment, legal analysts said Thursday.

Mr. Holder, is expected to announce his resignation later Thursday, and Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said the timing is not accidental: A federal judge earlier this week ruled that the Justice Department will have to begin submitting documents next month related to the botched Fast and Furious gun operation in a case brought by Judicial Watch.

Judicial Watch has done an amazing job using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to stop the stonewalling by the Obama Administration on Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, and the Benghazi attack. Judicial Watch has used FOIA to get documents that the Obama Administration was not releasing to Congressional oversight committees.

The article continues:

Two years ago the House voted 255-67 — with 17 Democrats joining the GOP — to hold Mr. Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents from the Fast and Furious operation.

The House oversight committee had sought the documents, saying they would shed light on who knew about the botched operation, which saw federal agents knowingly let guns be sold to traffickers. Hundreds of those guns turned up at crime scenes in Mexico, and two were found at the site where U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in Arizona.

Eric Holder has turned the Justice Department into a political arm of the Democratic party. It is no longer the neutral department it is supposed to be. Unfortunately., his replace will probably continue that policy. Hopefully our next American President will return the Justice Department to its original mission–providing equal justice under the law.

When Lawlessness Becomes A Pattern

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a story about the number of emails missing or destroyed in various agencies of the Obama Administration. Federal regulations require that emails of federal agencies be retained for certain periods of time. It is becoming very obvious that the federal agencies in the executive branch of the Obama Administration have chosen to ignore that regulation.

The article reports:

The latest example comes from the Department of Health and Human Services, which admitted Wednesday that hundreds of Obamacare emails subpoenaed in 2013 by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform were destroyed months ago.

Subpoena, what subpoena??!!

The article concludes:

And it’s not just emails. As Christopher Horner wrote earlier this week in the Washington Examiner, Environmental Protection Agency officials routinely destroy official text messages, contrary to law. And let’s not forget those fake EPA email names like “Richard Windsor.”

And there’s this: 47 inspectors-general told Congress in a letter this week that their investigations are often obstructed, delayed or otherwise impeded by top agency officials.

It became abundantly clear several years ago that the Obama administration was waging a campaign of massive resistance to legitimate congressional oversight.

That campaign — and a parallel one against aggressive journalism — has made an utter mockery of Obama’s opening-day promise of the “most transparent administration in history.”

So what is it these people are so desperate to cover up?

Richard Nixon and Rosemary Woods would be green with envy.

Should We Take Up A Collection To Buy The Federal Government New Computers?

The Blaze posted a story today about another federal government agency whose hard drive crashed in the middle of an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. This is getting comical.

The hard drive in question belongs to April Sands, a former employee at the Federal Election Commission who resigned in the spring after admitting to violations of the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act limits political activities of federal employees, specifically prohibiting them from engaging in political activity while on the job or from government offices.

The article reports:

Issa (Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)) noted that while Sands admitted to violating the law, the FEC just recently told Congress that it could not recover her hard drive, which made it impossible to seek criminal charges against her.

“Recent information obtained by the committee suggests that the FEC OIG could not pursue criminal prosecution for the misconduct because the attorney’s hard drive had been recycled by the FEC,” Issa’s letter said.

As a result, Issa asked the FEC to provide information to his committee by July 28. That includes all documents related to the hard drive loss, and documents detailing the FEC’s practices for retaining information on computers.

The FEC is an independent agency, but Sands’ emails clearly indicated she favored Obama’s re-election in 2012. Before the election, she tweeted things like:

“Our #POTUS’s birthday is August 4. He’ll be 51. I’m donating at least $51 to give him the best birthday present ever: a second term.” In another tweet, she said anyone supporting Republicans is her “enemy.”

“The bias exhibited in these messages is striking, especially for an attorney charged with the responsibility to enforce federal election laws fairly and dispassionately,” Issa wrote.

The article includes a letter written by Issa to Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman, which shows some of the tweets sent by April Sands during regular work hours. There is also a document showing how and when information requested by the Oversight Committee was to be submitted. Unfortunately, because of the computer crash that information seems to be lost.

The federal government would probably have fewer computer crashes if there were more honest people in the current administration.

Question Of The Week

We have all watched the IRS and its ‘the dog ate my homework’ defense of its failure to produce the documents Congress is requesting. This lack of cooperation resulted in the ‘Question of the Week’ being asked in the Congressional hearings.

As reported by The Blaze:

‘At What Point Does It Become Obstruction of Justice?’: Jim Jordan Angrily Grills IRS Head Over What He Waited Two Months to Do

That is the question.

Fraud In The Census Bureau

John Crudele has been reporting on fraud in the Census Bureau for the past six months. His work has been posted at The New York Post website. His latest story deals with data on unemployment and inflation being falsified by a data collector named Julius Buckmon.

The article in the New York Post explains how this false data impacts the reports we hear on the news:

Because the Census Bureau’s surveys are scientific — meaning each answer, in the case of the jobless survey, carries the weight of about 5,000 households — Buckmon’s actions alone would have given inaccurate readings on the economic health of 500,000 families.

Buckmon alleged that he was told to fudge the data by higher-ups. There was no formal probe back then into what Buckmon was doing or what he was alleging, although a Census investigator — who is now under indictment for other crimes against the bureau — did question a few people.

A source told me from the start of my investigation last October that Buckmon’s actions weren’t isolated and that falsification continued in the Philadelphia office right through the 2012 presidential election, only stopping when I exposed the practice last fall.

This is not acceptable. Mr. Crudele also reports that some of the people who work for the Census Bureau are talking to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the House Oversight Committee about their allegations. The OIG, Oversight Committee and several others will be investigating the claims of these workers.

The story in the New York Post goes on to explain exactly how the fraud is taking place. Please follow the link to the article to learn more about how the numbers in the jobs report are being falsified.

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An Obvious Problem With The House Oversight Investigation Into The IRS Scandal

Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall.com today that may explain why the House Oversight Committee was having so much trouble getting information on the IRS targeting of conservative groups prior to the 2010 election. It seems that there was someone on the Committee who was undermining the investigation.

The article reports:

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, along with five Subcommittee Chairmen are demanding Cummings (Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings) provide an explanation for the staff inquiries to the IRS about True the Vote and for his denial that his staff ever contacted the IRS about the group.

“Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” the letter to Cummings states. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.”

Evidently Lois Lerner, former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS, was feeding Cummings information about True the Vote, one of the groups the IRS was targeting. Cummings was not sharing this information with the Committee.

The article reports:

On January 31, Paz (Holly Pazl Lerners’ deputy) sent True the Vote’s 990 forms to Cumming’s staff.

Up until this point, Rep. Cummings has denied his staff ever contacted the IRS about True the Vote and their activities during Oversight hearings. In fact, on February 6, 2014 during a Subcommittee hearing where Engelbrecht testified, Cummings vehemently denied having any contact or coordination in targeting True the Vote when attorney Cleta Mitchell, who is representing the group, indicated staff on the Committee had been involved in communication with the IRS.

It is becoming very obvious that some of the Democrats in Congress have forgotten not only their Oath of Office, but also their basic ethics. The actions of Representative Cummings are truly deplorable. It is becoming obvious that his intention was to end this investigation before it began. I hope that Congressman Issa will continue his search for the truth and that the people who attempted to use the IRS for political purposes will be brought to justice.

 

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Somehow The New York Times Missed This

Yesterday The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released its report on Lois Lerner’s role in IRS targeting.

These are the highlights of the report (The link above provides a link to the entire report. The highlights include page numbers):

Key Document Based Highlights (documents and testimony in appendix):

  • Tea Party “itching for a Constitutional challenge:” Lerner and her colleagues, after being under public pressure from President Obama and other Democrats, engaged in an e-mail exchange about how they could showcase their scrutiny of a Tea Party applicant for public disclosure, despite rules protecting the secrecy of unapproved applications.  The conversation turned to the possibility of a court case – if a Tea Party applicant would challenge the IRS ruling.  On this, Ms. Lerner opined, Tea Party groups would litigate because they are “itching for a Constitutional challenge.” – p. 41
  • Lerner discusses political scrutiny that isn’t “per se political:” In one e-mail exchange that began with a discussion of an article noting, “organizations woven by the fabulously rich and hugely influential Koch brothers,” Lerner told colleagues, “we do need a c4 project next year.”  While she initially says, “my object is not to look for political activity,” later in the exchange she acknowledges that it will examine political activity. “We need to be cautious so it isn’t a per se political project.  More a c4 project that will look at levels of lobbying and pol. Activity along with exempt activity.” – p. 17
  • Lerner broke IRS rules by mishandling taxpayer information:  While Lerner told Congress under oath, “I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations,” e-mails show Lerner handled protected 6103 taxpayer information in her nonofficial e-mail account. In a November 2013 letter from Daniel Werfel, Werfel notes, “We do not permit IRS officials to send taxpayer information to their personal email addresses. An IRS employee should not send taxpayer information to his or her personal email address in any form, including redacted.” – p. 33
  • Lerner planned to retire in October all along: While House Democrats have pushed that Lerner was forced out by the IRS as a result of the TIGTA report; new e-mails indicate that Lerner had planned an October retirement long before TIGTA released its report.  Her paid leave amounted to a paid vacation preceding her retirement – it does not appear that the IRS penalized her in any way for her conduct. – p.  40-41
  • Despite knowing about improper scrutiny, Lerner had IRS blame victims: An IRS document bearing Lerner’s signature shows that in March 2012, despite knowing about improper scrutiny at that time, Lerner reviewed and signed off on a response to Congress that blamed applicants for heightened scrutiny.  “[T]he IRS contacts the organization and solicits additional information when the organization does not provide sufficient information in response to the questions on the Form 1024 or if issues are raised by the application …. The revenue agent uses sound reasoning based on tax law training and his or her experience to review the application and identify the additional information needed to make a proper determination of the organization’s exempt status.” – p. 36
  • Concern Citizens United hurting Democrats:  Lerner believed the Executive Branch needed to take steps to undermine the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.  A senior advisor to Lerner e-mailed her an article about allegations that unknown conservative donors were influencing U.S. Senate races.  The article explained how outside money was making it increasingly difficult for Democrats to remain in the majority in the Senate.  Lerner replied:  “Perhaps the FEC will save the day.” – p. 21
  • Citizens United created pressure for IRS to “fix the problem”:  According to Lerner: “The Supreme Court dealt a huge blow, overturning a 100-year old precedent that basically corporations couldn’t give directly to political campaigns.  And everyone is up in arms because they don’t like it.  The Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it. They want the IRS to fix the problem.” – p. 20
  • “Multi-Tier Review”:  Lerner personally directed that Tea Party cases go through a “multi-tier review.” An IRS employee testified that Lerner “sent [him an] e-mail saying that when these cases need to go through multi-tier review and they will eventually have to go to [Judy Kindell, Lerner’s senior technical advisor] and the Chief Counsel’s office.”  A D.C. IRS employee said this level of scrutiny had no precedent. – p. 24-25
  • Head of the IRS Cincinnati office’s testimony refutes Lois Lerner and President Obama’s O’Reilly interview assertion that this was all about a “local office”: “[Y]es, there were mistakes made by folks in Cincinnati as well [as] D.C. but the D.C. office is the one who delayed the processing of the cases.” – p. 44

Unless we are willing to live in a country where the laws are made and changed at will by whichever political party is in charge, Ms. Lerner has to be held accountable for her behavior. There is enough evidence against her to move forward with legal action. It is time to do that. Unfortunately, her behavior is typical of the Obama Administration’s disregard for the U.S. Constitution and the law.

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The IRS Scandal Summed Up In One Paragraph

Yesterday’s Washington Examiner summed up the IRS scandal in one paragraph:

These simple questions – each based on indisputable facts – establish that somebody outside of the IRS told her they wanted the tax agency to “fix” something involving groups seeking 501(c)(4) tax status, that she directed subordinates to begin a (c)(4) project she feared could be seen as “political,” that she viewed Tea Party groups as “dangerous,” and that she ordered that such groups be subjected to “multi-level review.” Those are the four essential points of the IRS scandal: Who ordered the tax agency to get involved, who in the tax agency responded, who they targeted and what actions they took. She cannot answer these questions because, as she herself has claimed, that would be incriminating. Lerner and others must hope Issa doesn’t already have the answers.

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About Those Unemployment Numbers

John Crudele at the New York Post has done a number of stories about fraud in the reporting of the unemployment numbers. He posted a story yesterday about the Congressional investigations into this fraud, including an investigation by the House Oversight Committee and Congress’ Joint Economic Committee. He adds that he is also investigating. He is currently waiting for the Commerce Department to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request he has filed for e-mails and text messages between people in the Philadelphia Census office.

The article reports:

At the core of all these investigations is solid evidence that at least one surveyor — a guy named Julius Buckmon, working out of the Philadelphia Census office but polling in Washington, DC — submitted fake household surveys that were used in compiling the Labor Department’s unemployment rate.

Because of the scientific nature of the Labor Department survey, Buckmon’s actions alone would have affected the responses of some 500,000 households.

But as I’ve been reporting, the scam was allegedly much larger than that and included other surveyors (or enumerators as they are called) over many years. And supervisors at least two levels up are said to have known about — and covered up — the scandal.

What the investigators are looking for is that the unemployment numbers were falsified so that they would drop just before the 2012 election. In fact, the unemployment rate did drop before the election.

This is a chart from trading economics.com:

United States Unemployment Rate

Before you get too excited over the fact that unemployment may be dropping, you need to take a look at the labor force participation rate. When people stop looking for jobs, they are no longer counted as unemployed. Therefore, as the number of people who are working drops, the unemployment rate drops. That is not the way it should be, but it is the way it is. The chart below from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows what has happened to our labor force participation rate since 2009:

laborparticipationrate2014Regardless of whether or not there is fraud involved, our current unemployment numbers are very misleading. Please follow the link above to the New York Post to hear the rest of the story. There is a smoking gun. Unfortunately, the person in charge at the time is claiming that he never saw it.

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A Victim Of IRS Targeting Speaks Out

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story today about the testimony recently  given by Catherine Engelbrecht before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Some of Mrs. Engelbrecht’s testimony is reported in the article:

In nearly two decades of running our small business, my husband and I never dealt with any government agency, outside of filing our annual tax returns. We had never been audited, we had never been investigated, but all that changed upon submitting applications for the non-profit statuses of True the Vote and King Street Patriots. Since that filing in 2010, my private businesses, my nonprofit organizations, and family have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry by federal agencies.

* In 2011, my personal and business tax returns were audited by the Internal Revenue Service, each audit going back for a number of years.

* In 2012, my business was subjected to inspection by OSHA, on a select occasion when neither my husband nor I were present, and though the agency wrote that it found nothing serious or significant, it still issued fines in excess of $20,000.

* In 2012 and again in 2013 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms conducted comprehensive audits at my place business.

* Beginning in 2010, the FBI contacted my nonprofit organization on six separate occasions – wanting to cull through membership manifests in conjunction with domestic terrorism cases. They eventually dropped all matters and have now redacted nearly all my files.

The story continues:

I also refuse to let a precedent be set that allows Members of Congress, particularly the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to misrepresent this governing body in an effort to demonize and intimidate citizens. Three times, Representative Elijah Cummings sent letters to True the Vote, demanding much of the same information that the IRS had requested. Hours after sending letters, he would appear on cable news and publicly defame me and my organization. Such tactics are unacceptable. It is for these reasons that immediately after this hearing I am filing a formal complaint with the House Office of Congressional Ethics and asking for a full investigation.

If we as Americans continue to elect people who engage in this sort of behavior, we will all eventually pay the price. This is a direct attack on someone who was attempting to insure that an election was honest, and they were attacked by the government. Is that the country we want to live in?

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Six????

Oversighthouse.gov reported yesterday that the enrollment numbers in ObamaCare are not good.

The website reported:

WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., today released new HealthCare.gov meeting notes stating that as of 10/2/2013, there were “248 enrollments.” According to meeting notes from the day before, “6 enrollments have occurred so far with 5 different issuers.”

The numbers come from notes taken during “War Room” meetings at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance (CCIIO), part of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tasked with implementing ObamaCare. The meetings were comprised of Administration officials and contractors discussing the standing issues and problems with the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov.

The first set of notes, taken the morning of October 2nd, states, “6 enrollments have occurred so far with 5 different issuers… Issuers include BCBS NC, BCBS Kansas City, and CareSource. Healthcare Service Corporation had the 2 enrollments.”

At the next meeting held the afternoon of October 2nd, the notes add that “[a]pproximately 100 enrollments have happened as of this meeting.”

At the morning meeting held October 3rd, the notes say that “[as] of yesterday, there were 248 enrollments.”

The website provides a link to some of the meetings concerning ObamaCare. I really do wonder what the future of this program will be. It obviously is not providing healthcare for the majority of uninsured people in America. It seems as if it is only responsible for causing those people who were already insured to lose their health insurance.

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