IRS Finally Agrees To Provide Congress With All Of Lois Lerner’s Emails Since Tea Party Targeting Scheme Began

IRS Caves On Lois Lerner Documents, Will Provide Congress With All Of Her Emails Since Tea Party Targeting Scheme Began – Daily Mail

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The powerful House Ways and Means Committee will get everything from disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner’s email account since a few weeks before Barack Obama became president.

And Republican committee members are hoping they’ll find a smoking gun tying the Obama administration to the years-long scheme to play political favorites with nonprofit groups’ tax-exemption applications.

After eight months of back-and-forth stonewalling, the IRS has agreed to turn over the complete contents of Lerner’s email account, along with other documents that two congressional committees have been demanding.

‘If there’s not a Holy Grail email in this round of documents,’ a senior staffer to a Ways and Means committee member told MailOnline, ‘then we’re not going to find it.’

‘Whether that’s because Lerner covered her tracks or because the IRS is shredding documents, we’re probably never going to know.’

The committee’s chairman, Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Camp, seems eager to put his staff to work sifting through thousands of messages in search of an explanation for the program that has been a major embarrassment to the White House.

‘This is a significant step forward and will help us complete our investigation into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups,’ Camp said Friday.

‘From the few Lerner documents we have received, we know that Washington, DC orchestrated the targeting of groups applying for tax-exempt status, surveillance of existing tax-exempt groups and formed the proposed 501(c)(4) rules designed to push conservative groups out of the public forum.’

Camp warned the IRS in a February 24 letter that he would start issuing subpoenas if the agency didn’t turn over the documents he wanted.

The IRS has proposed a rewrite of its regulations governing communications restrictions on ‘public benefit’ organizations that are exempt from paying federal income taxes.

That redesign of the rules began long before Lerner herself exposed the IRS’s pattern of holding up right-wing groups’ applications, often with dozens of intrusive questions over several years.

The effects of the agency’s desired rule change would be substantial: Organizations would be prohibited from emailing information, or publishing anything online, about candidates’ voting records during the last 60 days before an election.

Tea party groups, which began their rise to prominence five years ago, comprised most of the organizations that the IRS targeted beginning in 2010. Their political free-speech concerns have driven more than 146,000 public comments to the IRS, demanding that the regulatory revisions be scrapped.

Cleta Mitchell, a board member of the American Conservative Union Foundation, said Friday during that organization’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference that the new rules would affect the event where she was speaking.

‘It would mean that in even-numbered years, CPAC could have no speakers who are candidates for office,’ she said, dumbfounded.

Mitchell, an attorney, is representing some of the tea party groups in lawsuits related to the IRS targeting scheme.

The House Oversight Committee, chaired by California Rep. Darrell Issa, has cast a larger public shadow than Ways and Means has on the IRS targeting scandal.

Lerner has appeared before Issa-led hearings twice, both times invoking her Fifth Amendment rights and refusing to testify, despite President Obama’s insistence in a February interview that the IRS displayed ‘not a smidgen of corruption’ in the damaging episode.

Becca Glover Watkins, the Oversight Committee’s communications director, told MailOnline that Issa’s and Camp’s committee staffers are working hand-in-hand.

‘The Oversight Committee and the Ways and Means Committee have worked in partnership during the course of this investigation,’ Watkins said.

‘We expect the IRS will also be delivering a copy [of the complete Lerner files] to the Oversight Committee.’

A spokesperson for the Ways and Means Committee told MailOnline that it was the new IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, who broke the inertia after months of requests.

‘We have been asking for the materials for months, and after many discussions the new IRS Commissioner has said the IRS will comply with the request,’ said the committee’s Sarah Swinehart.

Lerner ‘was clearly at the center of the IRS targeting and was running it out of the Washington, D.C. office,’ she added. ‘We expect her documents to provide a fuller picture of this.’

Koskinen took over the tax agency on December 23, ending a 13-month period during which two interim commissioners served as caretakers.

The IRS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Corrupt 12-Term Democrat Finally Retires From Congress

12-Term New Jersey Democrat To Leave The House – USA Today

Democrat Rep. Rob Andrews of New Jersey plans to resign from Congress later this month to take a job with a Philadelphia law firm, according to multiple media reports.

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Andrews was first elected to Congress in 1990.

Last March, the House Ethics Committee said it would formally investigate allegations that Andrews, 56, improperly used campaign funds for personal use, such as a 2011 trip to Scotland for a wedding with his wife and two daughters. Andrews later repaid $30,000 in costs associated with the trip, according to investigative documents.

Andrews also used campaign funds to host a June 2011 event at his home that has been described as both a graduation party for his daughter and a celebration of his congressional service. He spent additional campaign money to travel to Los Angeles, where is daughter was pursuing an acting career.

The panel, which operates largely in secret, said it voted to create an “investigative subcommittee” to determine whether Andrews broke House rules.

Andrews has denied any wrongdoing and called the allegations “politically motivated.”

Had he remained in Congress, he would have been in line to be the top Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee, since Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., has announced he is not running for re-election.

In 2008, Andrews mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge to then-Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.

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Most Corrupt AG In History Bars Lead Investigator From Testifying Before Congress In IRS Probe

Eric Holder Bars Lead Investigator From Testifying Before Congress In IRS Probe – Gateway Pundit

The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal involved:

* At least 292 conservative groups
* At least 5 pro-Israel groups
* Constitutional groups
* Groups that criticized Obama administration
* At least two pro-life groups
* An 83 year-old Nazi concentration camp survivor
* A 180 year-old Baptist paper
* A Texas voting-rights group
* A Hollywood conservative group was targeted and harassed
* Conservative activists and businesses
* At least one conservative Hispanic group
* IRS continued to target groups even after the scandal was exposed

Despite the uproar the FBI closed the case on the IRS targeting scandal before interviewing a single one of the 292 conservative groups that were targeted.

And now Eric Holder will not allow the lead investigator in the case from testifying before Congress.

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Eric Holder’s DOJ said Thursday it will not allow the lead attorney in the IRS targeting investigation to testify before Congress.

The Washington Times reported:

The Justice Department said Thursday it is refusing to let a key lawyer testify to the House oversight committee on the criminal investigation into the IRS, saying that to let her brief Congress could potentially skew its probe.

But oversight committee Republicans said blocking lawyer Barbara Bosserman from testifying only makes the Justice’s investigation look more partisan.

After an internal audit last year revealed the IRS was unfairly targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny and blocking their applications for tax-exempt status, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called for a criminal probe into the tax agency.

Eight months later, the probe has shown few public signs of progress, and many of the tea party victims say they still haven’t heard from the FBI or Justice Department lawyers.

House Republicans said they were concerned about the direction of the probe, and Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican and a subcommittee chairman on the House oversight committee, asked Ms. Bosserman to testify at a hearing next week.

The GOP has identified her as the lead lawyer on the investigation, and they have questioned her role, given her history as a significant political donor to President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

Mr. Holder has denied Ms. Bosserman is the leader of the investigation and in a new letter to Mr. Jordan on Tuesday Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, Mr. Holder’s deputy, said Ms. Bosserman won’t be testifying, nor will the department let anyone else appear.

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Government Failures Congress Wants You To Fund This Year (Amy Payne)

Government Failures Congress Wants You To Fund This Year – Amy Payne

Wasteful, ineffective, failed.

Those are all ways Heritage experts have described government programs Congress is funding – with your hard-earned money – in its new trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill.

Here are a few big failures that need to be eliminated or seriously reformed – but instead are getting millions (or billions) of dollars.

Head Start. Head Start is an emotional trap. It’s supposed to help children get a jumpstart on success – and who can be against that? Well, the fact is that it just doesn’t work. Head Start has been a colossal failure for those children and their parents. As Heritage’s Lindsey Burke explains, an Obama Administration study confirmed that “Access to Head Start had no statistically measurable effects on all measures of cognitive ability, including numerous measures of reading, language, and math ability.” This omnibus increases funding for the failed Head Start and Early Head Start programs by $612 million.

U.S. Postal Service. The USPS already defaulted on its debt last year – after seven straight years of deficits. It’s saddled with billions owed to retiree benefits, and customers are sending less and less mail with each passing year. If it is to survive, the USPS needs big reforms, but in this omnibus spending bill, Congress blocks two needed money-savers: discontinuing Saturday delivery and closing some rural post offices.

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Amtrak. Despite operating in the red (even its snack cars lose millions of dollars), Amtrak would get $1.39 billion in the omnibus. Heritage expert Emily Goff reminds Congress that, as a step toward full privatization, it should make Amtrak subsidies contingent on reductions in its operating costs. How? Competitive contracting. Goff says, “Competitive contracting would improve Amtrak’s quality of service and lower its operating costs, which is good news for both riders and taxpayers.”

Job Corps. A job training program – sounds like a good thing. Except when it doesn’t boost participants’ wages or help them secure full-time jobs. The omnibus gives Job Corps $1.65 billion, even though Heritage’s David B. Muhlhausen concluded years ago that “Job Corps does not provide the skills and training necessary to substantially raise the wages of participants.”

Firefighter grants. Once again, a program that sounds like it should help people does not. Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis evaluated the effectiveness of fire department grants and found that the grants were ineffective at reducing fire casualties. They failed to reduce firefighter deaths, firefighter injuries, civilian deaths, or civilian injuries. Yet the omnibus sends $680 million to this program.

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The omnibus gives this failed hiring grant program $214 million. Heritage expert Muhlhausen points out Heritage research findings: COPS failed to add 100,000 additional officers to America’s streets and was also ineffective at reducing crime.

Congress will be pushing through all this spending in the next couple of days. Since the bill was just released Monday night, we’re wondering how many Members of Congress will actually know what’s in it before they vote.

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Senator Ron Johnson: I’m Suing Over ObamaCare Exemptions For Congress (Video)

I’m Suing Over ObamaCare Exemptions For Congress – Senator Ron Johnson

On Monday, Jan. 6, I am filing suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to make Congress live by the letter of the health-care law it imposed on the rest of America. By arranging for me and other members of Congress and their staffs to receive benefits intentionally ruled out by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the administration has exceeded its legal authority.

The president and his congressional supporters have also broken their promise to the American people that ObamaCare was going to be so good that they would participate in it just like everyone else. In truth, many members of Congress feel entitled to an exemption from the harsh realities of the law they helped jam down Americans’ throats in 2010. Unlike millions of their countrymen who have lost coverage and must now purchase insurance through an exchange, members and their staffs will receive an employer contribution to help pay for their new plans.

It is clear that this special treatment, via a ruling by the president’s Office of Personnel Management, was deliberately excluded in the law. During the drafting, debate and passage of ObamaCare, the issue of how the law should affect members of Congress and their staffs was repeatedly addressed. Even a cursory reading of the legislative history clearly shows the intent of Congress was to ensure that members and staff would no longer be eligible for their current coverage under the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan.

The law states that as of Jan. 1, 2014, the only health-insurance plans that members of Congress and their staffs can be offered by the federal government are plans “created under” ObamaCare or “offered through an Exchange” established under ObamaCare.

Furthermore, allowing the federal government to make an employer contribution to help pay for insurance coverage was explicitly considered, debated and rejected. In doing so, Congress established that the only subsidy available to them would be the same income-based subsidy available to every other eligible American accessing insurance through an exchange. This was the confidence-building covenant supporters of the law made to reassure skeptics that ObamaCare would live up to its billing. They wanted to appear eager to avail themselves of the law’s benefits and be more than willing to subject themselves to the exact same rules, regulations and requirements as their constituents.

Eager, that is, until they began to understand what they had actually done to themselves. For instance, by agreeing to go through an exchange they cut themselves off from the option of paying for health care with pretax dollars, the way many Americans will continue to do through employer-supplied plans. That’s when they went running to President Obama for relief. The president supplied it via the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which issued a convoluted ruling in October 2013 that ignores the clear intent and language of the law. After groping for a pretext, OPM essentially declared the federal government a small employer – magically qualifying members of Congress for coverage through a Small Business Health Options Program, exchanges where employers can buy insurance for their employees.

Neat trick, huh? Except that in issuing the ruling, OPM exceeded its statutory jurisdiction and legal authority. In directing OPM to do so, President Obama once again chose political expediency instead of faithfully executing the law – even one of his own making. If the president wants to change the law, he needs to come to Congress to have them change it with legislation, not by presidential fiat or decree.

The legal basis for our lawsuit (which I will file with a staff member, Brooke Ericson, as the other plaintiff) includes the fact that the OPM ruling forces me, as a member of Congress, to engage in activity that I believe violates the law. It also potentially alienates members of Congress from their constituents, since those constituents are witnessing members of Congress blatantly giving themselves and their staff special treatment.

Republicans have tried to overturn this special treatment with legislation that was passed by the House on Sept. 29, but blocked in the Senate. Amendments have also been offered to Senate bills, but Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to allow a vote on any of them.

I believe that I have not only legal standing but an obligation to go to court to overturn this unlawful executive overreach, end the injustice, and provide a long overdue check on an executive that recognizes fewer and fewer constitutional restraints.

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Democrats hold illegal immigrants in higher esteem than our veterans

Despicable, absolutely despicable. And any  Republican who went along with this should be ashamed of themselves. There are dozens and dozens of things we could cut, but we target disabled vets? Every single member who voted for this should be thrown from office.

A note about the clip from Patty Murray promising to fix the problem, after the bill is passed. Why after? Why not fix it now, before passing it? This is just more double talk from our Congress. Don’t worry about this bill, we will fix it later, right, sure you will Congresswoman.

Another note about our politicians in Congress. Only the Tea Party members seem sincere about fixing our fiscal house. The career politicians seem far more concerned with retaining power than serving their country. We can change this culture of Congressional entitlement, or begin to at least, next November. We need to retake the Senate, and keep the House, but we also need to support more Conservative candidates like Milton Wolf in Kansas over incumbent Republicans who have forgotten what their job is.

 

 

Leftist Parasites In Congress Introduce Bill To End Death Penalty For Treason, War Crimes, Assassinations

Liberal Democrats Introduce Bill To End Death Penalty For Treason – Weasel Zippers

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Obama off the hook?

Via The Hill:

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and seven other Democrats have proposed legislation that would eliminate the possibility of imposing the death penalty for a range of federal offenses, including several categories of murder and crimes against the government like treason and espionage.

The Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act, H.R. 3741, would end the death penalty for assassination or kidnapping that results in the death of the president or vice president, and also ends it for the murder of a member of Congress.

Under the bill, the death penalty could no longer be used to punish people for using a weapon of mass destruction, or murder done via torture, child abuse, war crimes, aircraft hijackings, sexual abuse, bank robberies or the willful wrecking of a train.

Using chemical or biological materials to kill could also no longer result in the death penalty, nor could deaths related to treason or espionage. The death or injury of an unborn child could not result in the death penalty either.

Death of state or local law enforcement officials, using the mail to kill, kidnapping and killing people to stop them from testifying could no longer lead to the death penalty, nor could the use of firearms or armor piercing ammunition during any crime of violence.

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*VIDEO* Mexican Lawmaker Antonio Garcia Conejo Strips Before Congress In Protest Of Energy Bill


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Ed Scultz- a special kind of stupid

Good Freaking Grief!

Indeed, the same was said by MSNBC host Ed Schultz on Wednesday who revealed that Democratic members of Congress are approaching him for messaging tips. His unqualified recommendation: Democratic members should be shouting from the hilltops, “It works!”

“That’s all you have to say: it works,” Schultz declared. “And it’s only going to get better.”

Ed also thinks the Titanic was a very successful cruise ship, and that the Chicago Cubs are the winningest franchise in sports. 

Obama Regime Misled Congress, Decided To Delay Part Of Website In August

Emails: Obama Administration Misled Congress, Decided To Delay Website In August – Daily Caller

The Obama administration knew in advance that Obamacare’s online small business (SHOP) exchanges would not be ready by deadline and agreed to delay part of the website as early as August, according to emails obtained by House Energy and Commerce Committee investigators.

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The Committee accused Obama administration officials of misleading Congress about the website’s progress.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials and Obamacare website contractor CGI Federal secretly agreed that the SHOP program would have to be delayed more than a month before the administration told the American public that the program would still be ready on time.

CMS and CGI Federal agreed on Aug. 13 that SHOP would not be ready and would have to be delayed until Nov. 15. The administration then waited a month before announcing on Sept. 26 that “The SHOP Marketplace for Federally-facilitated Marketplace states opens Oct. 1, 2013, when small employers can start the application process and get an overview of available plans and premiums in their area. All functions for SHOP will be available in November and if employers and employees enroll by Dec. 15, 2013, coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014.”

The administration’s announcement came just one week before employers were set to begin using SHOP. On Nov. 27, President Obama finally delayed the glitch-ridden SHOP exchanges by one year.

The emails paint a picture of an administration desperate to avoid public embarrassment and unwilling to delay launch deadlines, despite glaring flaws with the website.

“I’ve escalated your concerns regarding the SHOP Employee application not being completed until 10/15/13,” CMS official Jo-Ann Webber emailed on July 26, indicating that the administration knew that SHOP would not be completed until more than two weeks after its scheduled launch date.

“I am not recommending delay of the employer application,” fellow CMS official Dean Mohs replied to Webber.

“Guys, this is absolutely urgent and I need an answer on this today. If this is late we have to public[ly] announce we are late with a deliverable which means Marilyn Tavenner and the Secretary will have to announce,” CMS official Monique Outerbridge said on Aug. 6.

Nevertheless, CGI Federal presented its plan to roll out SHOP on deadline, and CMS official Henry Chao asked, “Can we sign this [plan] in blood?”

Congressional investigators see this as evidence that the Obama administration concealed its knowledge about the website’s failures from the American people – until it was too late.

“As the paper trail broadens, we see more and more evidence that the administration was fully aware its signature health care law was not ready for prime time,” said Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“The documents we are now reviewing tell a much, much different story than what officials testified to Congress. While it’s not clear if any ‘blood oath’ was taken, the president’s top lieutenants repeatedly looked us in the eye, insisting that they were ‘on track’ when they knew looming deadlines would be impossible to meet. These are not the characteristics of the ‘most transparent administration in history,’” Upton said.

“Secretary Sebelius must come prepared next week to provide answers about what January 1 and beyond will really look like,” Upton added.

“As President Obama embarks on his latest PR push to try and salvage his signature legislation, we’re finding more evidence that the administration was painfully aware the work would not be complete by October 1,” said Committee member Rep. Tim Murphy, who heads the Health and Energy oversight and investigations subcommittee.

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Expert Michael Cannon To Congress: Obama’s Illegal Acts Could Spark Armed Revolt Among Citizenry (Video)

Expert To Congress: Obama’s Illegal Behavior Could Spark Armed Revolt – The Examiner

While testifying before a House panel Tuesday, Michael Cannon, director of the Cato Institute’s Health Policy Studies, said Barack Obama’s behavior – specifically, his failure to adhere to the law – could spark an armed revolt against the government, Mediaite reported.

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………Click on image above to watch full hearing at C-Span.org.

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“There is one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restraints that the constitution places on the government,” he said. “Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it.”

“That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate,” he added. “If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws then they will conclude that neither are they.”

“That is a very dangerous sort of thing for the president to do, to wantonly ignore the laws,” Cannon said, “to try to impose obligations upon people that the legislature did not approve.”

After the 2010 midterm elections, the liberal Center for American Progress advised Obama to use all of his executive power – including his authority as commander-in-chief of the military – to unilaterally push his agenda while bypassing Congress.

The result has been an unchecked executive branch issuing mandates through regulations and executive orders, sometimes ignoring established law.

In his written testimony, Cannon said that since signing the ACA into law, Obama has “failed to execute that law faithfully.”

Obama, he said, “has unilaterally taken taxpayer dollars made available by the PPACA and diverted them from their congressionally authorized purposes toward purposes for which no Congress has ever appropriated funds.”

Cannon added:

He has unilaterally and repeatedly rewritten the statute to dispense taxpayer dollars that no federal law authorizes him to spend and that the PPACA expressly forbids him to spend.

He has unilaterally issued blanket waivers to requirements that the PPACA does not authorize him to waive.

Cannon also said Obama has unilaterally rewritten the law to allow health insurance products that Obamacare expressly forbids.

“He has encouraged consumers, insurers, and state officials to violate a federal law he enacted,” Cannon wrote.

Worse yet, Cannon said Obama took these steps “for the purpose of forestalling democratic action by the people’s elected representatives in Congress.”

“Today,” he added, “with respect to health care, the law of the land is whatever one man says it is – or whatever this divided Congress will let that one man get away with saying.”

That one man is Barack Obama.

Cannon said this disregard for the law is not confined to presidents of just one political party.

He also praised Obama for what he called “the gains in equality and freedom our nation has secured for women, for African-Americans, for gays, and for lesbians.”

But he issued a stern warning that things will only get worse over time.

“It is cause for even greater alarm, because it guarantees that presidents from both parties will replicate and even surpass the abuses of their predecessors as payback for past injustices. The result is that democracy and freedom will suffer no matter who occupies the Oval Office,” he said.

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Congress Changes Rules At Last Second To Exempt Their Staff From Having To Go On Obamacare

Congress Changes Rules At Last Second To Exempt Their Staff From Having To Go On Obamacare – Weasel Zippers

And Congress wonders why herpes is more popular than they are.

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Via Politico:

Obamacare is, once again, turning Capitol Hill upside down.

Congressional offices this week have been forced into a frenzied, late-hour scramble to decide which of their staffers will be pushed onto the District of Columbia’s health insurance exchanges, and which will be able to keep their current health insurance plans.

Under rules created in the wake of Obamacare’s implementation, House and Senate personal office staffers – dubbed “official office” aides by the House’s administrative office – are supposed to get their health insurance through D.C.’s health insurance exchange. Committee and leadership staffers – labeled “official staff” – are allowed to keep their current health insurance plan, which is administered by the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan.

But like many things on Capitol Hill, there’s a wrinkle: members of the House and Senate can quietly allow their aides to stay off the exchange, and keep their current plan.

“It seems too cute,” said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) of the news. Denham is putting all his staff on the exchanges.

In what members of both parties said was a surprise, guidance on Tuesday from the House’s chief administrative officer said that lawmakers could privately designate personal office aides as not “official,” meaning they do not have to go on the exchange, and could keep their current plan. Similarly, House lawmakers can decide that their committee and leadership staffers need to go on D.C.’s exchanges.

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Speaker Face Lift has finally lost the last of her mind

Via Weasel Zippers

Via Politico:

Nancy Pelosi isn’t going anywhere.

While many thought the California Democrat would step down as House minority leader after this Congress, Pelosi confidants now believe she will remain atop House leadership through 2016 and maybe even longer.

Pelosi herself won’t tip her hand about her plans. But she doesn’t appear to be contemplating retirement.

“I’m not here on a shift. I’m here on a mission — and when my work is done, that’s when I will leave,” Pelosi said in a recent interview with POLITICO.

A mission she says. Hmmm, seems that mission is to pad her riches, and destroy what is left of our Constitution.

 

 

President Asshat To Congress: I Don’t Need Your Authorization For War, But Give It To Me Anyway

Obama To Congress: I Don’t Need Your Authorization For War, But Give It To Me Anyway – CNS

President Barack Obama said today in a speech delivered in the White House Rose Garden that he is asking Congress to vote to authorize him to use military force in Syria – while insisting he does not need congressional authorization to order the U.S. military to commit acts of war in that Middle Eastern country.

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“I have long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” Obama said at one point in the speech. “That’s why I have made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.”

A moment later, Obama insisted that he did not need the authorization of Congress to unilaterally order the military to use force in Syria.

Obama did not explain from what source he believed he derived the authority to order U.S.military action against Syria if not from a resolution constitutionally approved by the U.S. Congress. He simply asserted that he believed he had that unilateral power.

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He did note that the United Nations had not approved such action, and that the British Parliament had specifically voted against the use of British force in Syria despite the fact that British Prime Minister David Cameron had advocated for it.

“I am comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that so far has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable,” said Obama.

“As a consequence many people have advised against taking this decision to Congress, and undoubtedly they were impacted by what we saw happen in the United Kingdom this week when the Parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal – even as the prime minister supported taking action,” Obama said.

“Yet, while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective,” he said.

Obama suggested that the reasons the U.S. needed to use military force in Syria – even if alone in doing so – was to protect the credibility of “the international system.”

“What is the purpose of the international system that we have built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the government of 98 percent of the world’s people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United is not enforced?” he said.

Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution says: “Congress shall have the power… To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.”

In the notes he took at the Constitutional Convention, James Madison, who was involved in proposing this language, said it was designed to give the Congress power to decide when the nation would initiate the use of military force, “leaving to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks.”

George Washington, who commanded American forces in the revolutionary war and who presided over the Constitutional Convention, abided by the understanding of the war power that Madison had explained in his notes.

“The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress,” President Washington wrote in 1793, “therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.”

Obama did not argue in his speech on Saturday that he believed the Syrian regime was preparing a sudden attack on the United States. In fact, he indicated that he believes the U.S. can bide its time – taking up to even a month–before attacking Syria.

“The chairman of the join chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose,” Obama said. “Moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time sensitive. It will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from know.”

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Greta Van Susteren: What Congress Just Did “Will Make You Want To Throw Up”

Greta: What Congress Just Did ‘Will Make You Want To Throw Up’ – Bizpac Review

When the actions of the federal government succeed in riling up the normally stoic Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, you can be sure that something sinister is afoot.

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And she is so ticked by the current reign of lawlessness she could just vomit!

As elected officials slipped out of town for a 5-week recess, we learned a deal was struck to exempt Congress from new higher premiums associated with ObamaCare. A move designed to avert the provision in the law which said members of Congress and their aides must be covered by plans “created” by the law or “offered through an exchange.”

The Office of Personnel Management, under heavy pressure from Capitol Hill, determined that the health care premiums of members of Congress and their aides can be subsidized by taxpayers, according to Politico.

As noted by Mediaite, Van Susteran responded in a blog post titled with all capital letters “THIS WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO THROW UP,” in which she railed against the “appalling” exemption, repeatedly expressing her “disgust” with elected officials.

“It is indecent… just WRONG,” she wrote. “So let me get this straight… they push OBAMACARE on EVERY OTHER AMERICAN except themselves. Really? Unbelievable, isn’t it?”

Van Susteran zeroed in on how the exemption was rushed before the August recess, but Congress failed to address the expiring resolution that prevents government shutdown in 60 days, as reported by Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell.

“So…let me get this straight… what matters to YOU and is their job to handle can wait until their 5 week vacation is over, Van Susteran stated. “What matters to them, gets done NOW, before their 5 week vacation.”

“I really don’t know how Members of Congress can sleep at night when they pull these stunts on the rest of America,” she concluded. “I don’t know who voted how, but I want to know who voted FOR this. At the very minimum, this selfish vote should have been put at the back of the line.”

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President Asshat Promises Congress ObamaCare Subsidies

Obama Promises Congress Obama-Care Subsidies – Sweetness & Light

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From an unfazed Politico:

President Obama on Hill’s Obamacare mess: I’m on it

By John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman | July 31, 2013

President Barack Obama privately told Democratic senators Wednesday he is now personally involved in resolving a heated dispute over how Obamacare treats Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers, according to senators in the meeting.

The president’s commitment was delivered at the beginning of Obama’s remarks to Senate Democrats during a closed-door session.

You see? The Democrat Senators have their priorities. And the most important thing in the world for Senate Democrats is to get out of Obama-Care. Or, failing that, they want a taxpayer subsidy so they will be able to afford the ‘free’ health insurance you get under Obama-Care’s exchanges.

At issue is whether Obama’s health care law allows the federal government to continue to pay part of the health insurance premiums for members of Congress and thousands of Hill aides when they are nudged onto health exchanges.

But the provision that forces Congress into the Obama-Care exchanges is in the law. And aren’t we being told that ‘the law is the law’? There is no way to change it, let alone defund it.

Currently, the government pays nearly 75 percent of these premiums. The government’s contributions are in jeopardy due to a controversial Republican amendment to the Affordable Care Act, which says that by 2014, lawmakers and their staff must be covered by plans “created” by the law or “offered through an exchange.”

By the way, Congress and their staff members have to purchase coverage through an Obama-Care exchange, only thanks to a provision that the Republican Senator Charles Grassley added to the healthcare law. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have to live under the same law that they are forcing on the rest of us.

But you would never know that from the news media reports. In fact, this, like every report on this ‘controversy’ goes out of its way to make it sound bi-partisan. When it is mostly the Democrats who are howling.

The Office of Personnel Management hasn’t said if the Federal Employee Health Benefits program can contribute premium payments toward health plans on the exchange. If the payments stop, it could cost Hill staffers thousands of extra dollars each year.

Those poor people. Congressmen only make $174,000 a year. Their ‘poor’ staff only average around $71,000 a year.

Party leaders in both chambers want OPM to rule that the government can continue to contribute to health insurance premiums for members and staffers. OPM, though, has so far refused to say how it will handle the provision despite months of lobbying by lawmakers.

BS. It is mostly Democrats who are pushing this. In fact, remember, Obama brought this up first in his closed door meeting with Senate Democrats.

The controversy has to be resolved before Oct. 1, which is when members and staffers can begin enrolling in the exchanges.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Obama told the Democratic senators he was working to find a solution and that the administration will soon present its plan to top lawmakers in both parties.

“The president is aware of it,” said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat. “His people are working on it.”

Some lawmakers have privately threatened to push through a legislative fix – possibly attached to a must-pass spending bill – that would require the government to continue its contributions for health care premiums for Hill employees.

However, that could open a door for Obamacare opponents to try to unwind other parts of the 2010 legislation, and senior administration officials want to avoid that step or the accusation that lawmakers and Hill aides are getting any kind of special treatment…

Oh, our sides.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have been pressing OPM and the White House to find a solution to this issue through administrative action. Reid and Boehner – under heavy pressure almost daily from their own members and senators – have been leaning hard on administration officials, including White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, for answers.

Again, Politico is trying to stress how bipartisan this is. But, once again, Congress is only under Obama-Care thanks to a Republican amendment.

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Obama: Everyone In Congress Knew About NSA Snooping – Congress: No We Didn’t

Lawmakers Rebut Obama’s Data Defense – Politico

President Barack Obama’s chief defense of his administration’s wide-ranging data-gathering programs Friday: Congress authorized them, with “every member” well aware of the details.

Not so, say many members of Congress – Democrats and Republicans alike.

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Typically, members of Congress “don’t receive this kind of briefing,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told POLITICO Friday. They wouldn’t have known about the programs unless they were on an intelligence committee, attended special sessions last held in 2011 or specifically asked to be briefed – something they would only know to do if they were clued in by an colleague who was already aware.

Durbin said he learned about the two programs himself only after requesting a briefing under “classified circumstances” after being urged to do so by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Congressional leadership and intelligence committees had access to information about the programs, he said – but the “average member” of Congress likely wouldn’t have been aware of the breadth of the telephone and Internet surveillance.

There’s no public record of who has attended any of these sessions – and even the Obama administration couldn’t confirm the president’s claim that “every member of Congress” had been briefed.

The White House declined to comment for this story.

And Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) told POLITICO that the classified intelligence briefing sessions he’s attended haven’t disclosed details on the two data-gathering programs as were unveiled this week.

Schock, in Congress since 2009, said he had “no idea” about the phone data gathering, or any briefings for House members to discuss it, until news reports this week.

Like other members who said they learned of the data-gathering efforts when they were revealed in the Guardian and the Washington Post, Schock said the administration classified briefings he’s attended have revealed very little information.

“I can assure you the phone number tracking of non-criminal, non-terrorist suspects was not discussed,” he said. “Most members have stopped going to their classified briefings because they rarely tell us anything we don’t already know in the news. It really has become a charade.”

President Obama’s explanation allows him to sound a nothing-to-see-here note that paints the programs as both prosaic and innocuous. After all, if all 535 members of Congress knew about them, how bad could they really be?

“These are the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress, and they’re being fully briefed on these programs,” said Obama. “And if, in fact… there were abuses taking place, presumably those members of Congress could raise those issues very aggressively. They’re empowered to do so.”

But as Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) complained to Attorney General Eric Holder during a Thursday hearing, the idea that Congress has been “fully briefed” on these programs is coming as news to many of the lawmakers themselves.

“This ‘fully briefed’ is something that drives us up the wall, because often ‘fully briefed’ means a group of eight leadership; it does not necessarily mean relevant committees,” Mikulski said.

In theory, briefings on the electronic surveillance programs were available – and offered – to every member of Congress. In practice, they were regularly given to those on the House and Senate Intelligence committees – and haven’t been offered all members of Congress for the past two years, except by request.

Justice and intelligence officials conducted a dozen briefings for congressional committees and leadership between May 2009 and October 2011, and FBI Director Robert Mueller briefed the House GOP conference and House Democratic caucus in May 2011 ahead of the last the Patriot Act reauthorization. The administration also asked that classified white papers be made available to all members of the House and Senate in 2011, when the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was last re-authorized.

So senators not on the intelligence committee would only have learned of the program had they attended one of those classified briefings in 2010 or 2011. Then, the committee invited all 100 senators to read a classified report on “roving authority for electronic surveillance” in a secure location in the Hart Senate Office Building.

Asked Thursday if she knew how many senators had taken the time to read the report, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) responded: “I do not, certainly the Intelligence Committee should have.”

Congress last reauthorized the FISA provision of the Patriot Act in in May 2011, with the Senate voting 72-23 in favor, and the House approving the measure by a 250-153 count.

It is not known how many members reviewed the intelligence papers prior to those votes. And it’s not clear how many members of Congress have pursued classified briefings on their own. But it’s not hard to find members of Congress this week who say the latest reports are the first they’ve heard of these programs.

There are now nine senators and 61 congressmen who were not in office during the 2010 and 2011 briefing sessions – new members of Congress like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who have never been personally informed of either program unless they asked about it.

“Americans trusted President Obama when he came to office promising the most transparent administration in history,” Cruz said Friday. “But that trust has been broken and the only way to earn it back is to tell the truth.”

Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) wrote “not quite” on Twitter in response to a reporter’s tweet about Obama’s remark that “every member” was aware of the data-gathering programs. Long wasn’t made available to explain his tweet Friday.

And Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) told MSNBC Friday that he received a briefing only because he “sought it out,” not because the Obama administration had offered it to him.

“I had to get special permission to find out about the program,” Merkley said. “It raised concerns for me… When I saw what was being done, I felt it was so out of sync with the plain language of the law and that it merited full public examination, and that’s why I called for the declassification.”

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The biggest problem with the Immigration Reform Bill? The morons writing it!

I would love to see Congress come up with a meaningful immigration reform bill, but the biggest problem is this, CONGRESS! Let’s face it, Congress cannot do much that makes any sense. If Congress set out to fix your flat tire, it would take a month, cost you 12 billion dollars, and all four of your tires, plus your spare would be flat after they finished. Congress is completely incompetent, and you can trust me, I have worked for a corporate restaurant chain or two, I know incompetence. 

Every time I hear some talking head talk about the importance of immigration reform, I nod in agreement then the realization hits me. Any bill’s success would depend on the government doing what it has refused to do for decades now. They talk about making those who are here illegally pay back taxes. Really? Sounds good, except for this. the same buffoons telling us this are also the same buffoons who tell us we cannot deport those here illegally because we cannot find them. So, we can’t find them to boot them out, but we can find them to collect back taxes? Sure, sure, we can also look at buying that bridge in Arizona while we are at it.

If we want, as a nation, to remain a nation, we MUST fix our border issues. The biggest issue regarding border security, and fixing our immigration system is national sovereignty. Frankly, most of Congress could not care any less about that. Democrats see a huge voting block, and we know Democrats will always put securing political gain over patriotism. Republicans also see a huge voting block that they think they can win over. Of course, too many Republicans think that they can out Democrat Democrats, which, of course they cannot. So, instead of anything that might fix the problem, we get bills that run over 1,000 pages, and that create more bureaucracy and we know that will only make the solution as bad as, if not worse than the original problem.

Now, here is where I would usually give some advice to Congress on how to FIX the problem. I might say we must not even speak of amnesty, in any form, we must not talk about paths to citizenship until we secure the border. That must be the first step, because we are simply encouraging more to come here to take advantage of whatever amnesty gets passed. I could tell them to round up the worst illegals, felons, gang members  and either boot their asses out or lock them up somewhere. I could tell them to streamline the process that LEGAL immigrants have to go through. I could advise them to look for solutions for those who have been here a long time, or whose parents brought them here AFTER, and only AFTER those steps are taken. I could tell them many things, but, would these idiots listen? No, because they are more concerned for exploiting the problem than they are in fixing it, and that is why I hold out no hope in anything meaningful coming out of the Gang of Eight A.K.A. Ochos Stupidos.

Stacy McCain has a good aggregation of what some others are reporting about Ochos Stupidos including this

Gang of Eight Bill Would Cost $6 Trillion

The AP scandal will get much worse if this is true UPDATED! Congressman Nunes doubles down

Via Doug Giles OBAMA’S BOYS TAPED PHONE CALLS BETWEEN MEMBERS OF CONGRESS & AP REPORTERS

 

The Obama administration may have even secretly obtained phone records for members of Congress is going to be a bombshell if true.  See what Rep. Devin Nunes told Hugh Hewitt this afternoon:

Rep. Nunes: I don’t think people are focusing on the right thing when they talk about going after the AP reporters. The big problem that I see is that they actually tapped right where I’m sitting right now, the Cloak Room.

Hewitt: Wait a minute, this is news to me.

Nunes: The Cloak Room in the House of Representatives.

Hewitt: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Nunes: So when they went after the AP reporters, right? Went after all of their phone records, they went after the phone records, including right up here in the House Gallery, right up from where I’m sitting right now. So you have a real separation of powers issue that did this really rise to the level that you would have to get phone records that would, that would most likely include members of Congress, because as you know…

Hewitt: Wow.

Nunes: …members of Congress talk to the press all the time.

Some are saying that none of the current scandals will get Obama, but if this one is true, and we do not have any proof that it is, it just might. It depends on two things, first being the veracity of the accusation, the second being the media. The big question is if the media IS really out of love with Obama. If they are, then look out, it could get rocky, particularly if the media focuses energy on all the current scandals. Stay tuned

 UPDATE! Congressman Nunes is not backing off his accusations

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) doubled down on the accusations he made yesterday on the Hugh Hewitt program that the Holder Justice Department was monitoring phone records from the House press gallery. Today Nunes told reporter David Drucker, “There’s no other explanation.”

Roll Call reported:

Expanding on a Wednesday interview with conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt,Rep. Devin Nunes told me Thursday morning that there is no other explanation in light of the DOJ’s acknowledgment that, as part of its inquiry into national security leaks, it subpoenaed AP phone records from the House press gallery.That’s a prime spot from which reporters frequently initiate and receive telephone calls from members of Congress and their staff.

The California Republican said that the AP phone records scandal that has focused on First Amendment infringement actually runs deeper, and should examine what he is convinced includes an illegal violation of the separation of powers by President Barack Obama’s administration.

“As I pointed out to Hugh Hewitt, there’s no question that Justice knows what members of Congress the AP was talking to during the two-month time period,” Nunes told CQ Roll Call.

Nunes serves on the House Intelligence Committee and, as such, said he has some familiarity with the leak the Department of Justice is investigating, a leak he said many committee members are genuinely concerned about.

Again, stay tuned

 

Your Daley Gator IRS Scandal Roundup For Monday

IRS Targeted Conservative Groups That Taught U.S. Constitution – Gateway Pundit

The IRS not only targeted conservative Tea Party groups and Jews… They also targeted conservative groups that taught the US Constitution.

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The Washington Post reported:

At various points over the past two years, Internal Revenue Service officials targeted nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution, according to documents in an audit conducted by the agency’s inspector general.

The documents, obtained by The Washington Post from a congressional aide with knowledge of the findings, show that on June 29, 2011, IRS staffers held a briefing with senior agency official Lois G. Lerner in which they described giving special attention to instances where “statements in the case file criticize how the country is being run.” Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the agency, raised objections and the agency revised its criteria a week later.

But six months later, the IRS applied a new political test to groups that applied for tax-exempt status as “social welfare” groups, the document says. On Jan. 15, 2012 the agency decided to target “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform movement.,” according to the appendix in the IG report, which was requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has yet to be released.

The new revelations are likely to intensify criticism of the IRS, which has been under fire since agency officials acknowledged they had deliberately targeted groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their name for heightened scrutiny.

Read the rest here.

More… (From previous post) The IRS has some explaining to do.

Beyond Political posted this earlier:

This cannot possibly be. As someone who has gone through IRS certification (due to the off chance we may encounter taxpayer data during investigations), I can attest for the extensive rigor and controls that prevent such low level activities. For instance, the mere act of someone pulling up a neighbor’s tax data would set off numerous alarms; investigation and prosecution would be inevitable. Cases are distributed in a manner that a low-level worker would not have access to all “tea party” and “patriot” filings.

This means one of two things. Either ALL low-level employees in the IRS are operating in collusion, conspiring to attack all citizens of a particular political orientation (which would be necessary to cause low level employees randomly assigned and supervised with such extensive controls to consistently flag and punish people of that political interest), or senior level IRS employees who are able to pull up files of a particular interest (“patriot” “tea party”) were involved. Furthermore, if it was low-level employees, they would be investigated and disciplined as a matter of routine process. Only senior level IRS executives are able to bypass those controls.

And that IRS spokespersons are lying suggests how far up the conspiracy goes. I’m rather confident that a competent investigation would show White House political appointees had directed these actions, in collusion with senior level IRS officials. Nobody down below would be able to have such a broad reach and get by without being terminated and criminally prosecuted.

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Related articles:

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National Organization For Marriage Renews Demand That IRS Come Clean On Stolen And Leaked Tax Return; Seeks Investigation Into Possible White House Or Obama Campaign Role – Before It’s News

There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law.” – Brian Brown, NOM president -

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today renewed its demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the employee or employees responsible for stealing the organization’s confidential Form 990 tax return and leaking it to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). At the time of the theft, the HRC had long-sought to know the identity of NOM’s major donors and its chief executive was a co-chair of President Obama’s reelection campaign. The Form 990 that was leaked to the HRC contained the identity of numerous major donors to the organization.

“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”

In March 2012 the Human Rights Campaign and the Huffington Post published NOM’s Form 990 Schedule B from 2008 containing the identity of dozens of donors. The HRC claimed the tax return was provided by a ‘whistleblower.’ For months previous to the publication, the HRC had been demanding that NOM publicly release this confidential information even though federal law protects the identity of contributors to nonprofit groups. The publication of NOM’s tax return occurred just a few months after Joseph Solmonese, then president of the HRC, was appointed a national co-chair of the Obama reelection campaign. An analysis of the published documents shows that they could only have originated with the IRS.

“We’ve seen in recent days an admission that the IRS intentionally targeted conservative groups for harassment and scrutiny,” Brown said, “but what NOM has experienced suggests that problems at the IRS are potentially far more serious than even these latest revelations reveal.”

Following publication of NOM’s confidential tax return and a complaint to the IRS, investigators with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) interviewed NOM officials about the theft. Nothing has come of the investigation if there is indeed one, and the agency has refused to answer any questions about the status of its examination.

Brown concluded, “No group should ever be subjected to the IRS leaking its confidential tax return to its political enemies. But when the recipient of the stolen information is a group headed by a co-chair of the President’s reelection campaign, serious concerns arise. We have no way of knowing if people within the White House, the Obama reelection campaign or the HRC had any role in the crime, but we call on the Congress to investigate. So far, we’ve heard nothing from the federal government even though they’ve had all the facts for over a year.”

To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), eray@crcpublicrelations.com, or Jennifer Campbell jcampbell@crcpublicrelations.com, at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Background: On March 30, 2012, the Huffington Post published NOM’s confidential 2008 tax return filed with the IRS, which it said came from the Human Rights Campaign. The HRC has said on its own site the documents came from a “whistleblower.” However, NOM has determined that the documents came directly from the Internal Revenue Service.

The document above is as it appeared when published by the Huffington Post. However, that document was modified in a failed attempt to obscure its source. There is a label visibly obscuring a portion of each page, and it was determined that information on the top of each page was also obscured in the version posted on the Huffington Post.

After software removed the layers obscuring the document, it is shown that the document came from the Internal Revenue Service. The top of each page says, “”THIS IS A COPY OF A LIVE RETURN FROM SMIPS. OFFICIAL USE ONLY.” On each page of the return is stamped a document ID of “100560209.” Only the IRS would have the Form 990 with “Official Use” information.

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Flashback: Romney Donor Vilified By Obama Campaign, Then Subjected To 2 Audits – Daily Caller

Just months after being slimed by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, Mitt Romney supporter and businessman Frank VanderSloot was informed that he was going to be audited not only by the Internal Revenue Service, but by the Labor Department as well.

VanderSloot’s saga was told by columnist Kimberley Strassel in the Wall Street Journal last July.

In April 2012, VanderSloot, who served as the national co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential finance committee, was one of eight Romney backers to be defamed as ”wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records” in a post on the Obama campaign’s website. The post, entitled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” singled out VanderSloot for being a ”litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

Two months later, the IRS informed VanderSloot he and his wife were going to be audited, Strassel reported. Two weeks after that, VanderSloot was notified by the Labor Department that it was going to “audit workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch under the federal visa program for temporary agriculture workers,” reported Strassel.

“The H-2A program allows tens of thousands of temporary workers in the U.S.; Mr. VanderSloot employs precisely three,” Strassel wrote. “All are from Mexico and have worked on the VanderSloot ranch—which employs about 20 people—for five years. Two are brothers. Mr. VanderSloot has never been audited for this, though two years ago his workers’ ranch homes were inspected. (The ranch was fined $8,400, mainly for too many ‘flies’ and for ‘grease build-up’ on the stove. God forbid a cattle ranch home has flies.)”

“This letter requests an array of documents to ascertain whether Mr. VanderSloot’s ‘foreign workers are provided the full scope of protections’ under the visa program: information on the hours they’ve worked each day and their rate of pay, an explanation of their deductions, copies of contracts,” she continued.

In her column, Strassel raised the specter that the IRS targeted VanderSloot for his political activism.

“Did Mr. Obama pick up the phone and order the screws put to Mr. VanderSloot?” she asked. “Or—more likely—did a pro-Obama appointee or political hire or career staffer see that the boss had an issue with this donor, and decide to do the president an unasked-for election favor? Or did he or she simply think this was a duty, given that the president had declared Mr. VanderSloot and fellow donors ‘less than reputable’?”

VanderSloot’s tale is more relevant in light of the admission Friday by IRS official Lois Lerner that the agency gave extra scrutiny to non-profit tea party groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their name that applied for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. While Lerner said the agency’s actions were inappropriate, she claimed it was not the result of political bias.

However, a forthcoming report by the IRS inspector general will say that the agency went beyond what Lerner admitted to on Friday by targeting groups which criticized “how the country is being run,” the Washington Post, which got an advanced copy of part of the internal audit, reported Sunday.

Though that practice was soon halted, just months later, in January 2012, groups that applied for tax exempt status which described themselves as “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform movement” were again subjected to special scrutiny.

On Friday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was among the congressional leaders who called for an investigation into what went on at the IRS.

“The IRS cannot target or intimidate any individual or organization based on their political beliefs,” he said in a statement. “The House will investigate this matter.”

The White House also voiced support for an investigation.

“The president would expect that it would be investigated,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said at the Friday’s press briefing.

While non-profit groups were targeted by the IRS, no hard evidence has yet emerged to show that individuals like VanderSloot were targeted for their political leanings.

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Report: Obama’s IRS Targets Jewish Organizations – Big Government

New evidence has now arisen that the IRS under President Obama, which admitted, then half-denied this week that it was targeting conservative non-profit groups, has been targeting Jewish organizations in a virulent manner. An IRS agent admitted that some Israel-related organizations’ applications have been assigned to “a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.”

What does that mean? It means that the Obama administration is going after organizations that support the existence of the state of Israel; one Jewish organization that was not even focused on Israel was required to state “whether [it] supports the existence of the land of Israel,” and also to “[d]escribe [its] religious belief system toward the land of Israel.”

Z STREET, a staunch defender of Israel, had filed a lawsuit against the IRS, saying that an IRS agent told them that their attempt to secure tax-exempt status would be looked over more than usual because it was “connected to Israel.”

Lois Lerner, of the IRS, has already admitted that the IRS had improperly targeted groups with “Tea Party” and “patriot” in their names but said it wasn’t politically motivated, because “That is not how we do things.”

The Obama Administration apparently hates Israel enough to harass and intimidate those who support the Jewish state. So much for the contention of liberal Jews that the Obama administration is a friend to the State of Israel.

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Ways And Means Committee: When Did WH Know IRS Targeted Groups Based On Political Philosophy? – CNS

The House Ways and Means Committee wants to know when the White House first knew that the Internal Revenue Service was targeting groups for heightened scrutiny for their political views, including groups that used the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their applications for tax exempt status, or that sought to educate people about the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has provided a timeline to congressional staff that indicates that in the 2010 election year the Internal Revenue Service instructed officials in its “Determinations Unit” to “be on the lookout for” organizations applying for tax exempt status that used the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their applications.

By January 2012, at the beginning of a presidential election year, according to the timeline, the IRS broadened its “be on the lookout order” to target groups that were involved in educating people on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Now the Ways and Means Committee, which is investigating the matter, has publicly posed what it calls ‘The Top 10 Questions for the IRS.” These include: When did the White House know?

“The IRS absolutely must be non-partisan in its enforcement of our tax laws. The admission by the agency that it targeted American taxpayers based on politics is both shocking and disappointing,” said Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R.-Mich.). “The Committee on Ways and Means will thoroughly investigate this matter and will soon hold a hearing to get to the bottom of this situation. We will hold the IRS accountable for its actions.”

Here are the committee’s questions:

What did the IRS know and when? The Top 10 questions for the IRS

1. Beginning with an inquiry in June 2011, the House Ways and Means Committee has repeatedly asked the IRS for verification about whether or not it was targeting groups based on their political philosophies. On repeated occasions, including at a March 2012 Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing, the IRS explicitly denied such activities had occurred. Now, widespread media reports confirm that the agency learned of these practices just three weeks after the Committee made its initial inquiry related to these groups – nearly 2 years ago. How many times did the IRS lie to Congress about this issue?

2. What words were used in the targeting campaign? We know “tea party,” “patriots” and “conservative” were used.

3. We know words targeting conservative-leaning organizations were used. What about words like “progressive” or “green”? What proof, if any, has IRS provided to demonstrate this was not a politically motivated act? Were any personnel ever directed to delay processing of certain 501(c )(4) applications until after the election?

4. When was the IRS Commissioner informed? When were the White House and Treasury made aware that groups were being targeted based on their political philosophies? How did the White House and Treasury respond when they were made aware that conservative groups were being targeted?

5. When the IRS Commissioner was made aware of these unlawful practices, what steps were taken, if any, to halt the harassment of conservative organizations? Who was disciplined regarding these practices, if anyone?

6. Who were the employees that made these decisions, and what guidance were they provided with from Washington, if any, to pursue their work in this manner? Who are these employees? Were these political appointees? Were they hired through the process established by the Ramspeck Act (where some, including staff whose Members have lost or retired, receive placement assistance in an agency setting)?

7. It is clear from the TIGTA timeline that IRS was targeting those with conservative political philosophies as early as 2010. It is well documented that active Congressional investigations were going on pertaining to this subject – why wasn’t Congress immediately notified when IRS became aware that groups were, in fact, actively being targeted?

8. How widespread was the campaign to target conservative groups? We’ve heard about Ohio, a longtime bellwether state in political elections. What has IRS done, if anything, to identify whether this practice of targeting specific groups was occurring in IRS offices in other states?

9. Why is IRS apologizing now? IRS waited until well after the 2012 election cycle to issue a public apology for targeting these groups, but never informed Congress of its intent to do so, despite ongoing investigations. Why didn’t they inform Congress of their intent to do so?

10. What steps, if any, has IRS taken to ensure that the targeting of individuals and organizations does not occur in the future?

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