Leftist Corruption Update: Obama’s FBI Partners With Left-Wing Extremist Group

Obama FBI Partners With Left-Wing Extremist Group – Townhall

The magnitude of this Obama administration’s “progressive” radicalism becomes more evident with each passing day. In recent months, there has been a drastic spike in acts of both anti-Christian and anti-conservative discrimination and intimidation on military bases across the country. This mounting harassment is not being carried out at the hands of regular enlisted folk but, rather, at the hands of high-ranking officials who, in their official capacity, are targeting Christian and conservative organizations and individuals in an effort to silence them.

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It has long been suspected that the Obama administration is using propaganda circulated by the roundly discredited Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, a left-wing extremist group that, in recent years, has adopted two primary goals: 1) raising truckloads of money and 2) smearing as “domestic hate groups” dozens of mainstream Christian ministries like the Family Research Council, or FRC, and the American Family Association, or AFA.

This suspicion has now been verified.

The problem on military bases has gotten so bad, in fact, that the U.S. Congress is demanding answers from the Pentagon. Recently, the AFA-affiliated OneNewsNow.com newsgroup reported that “Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-Mississippi) is 1 of 38 members of Congress signing off on a letter to the Secretary of the Army – especially about an incident last month at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in which the Tupelo-based American Family Association was labeled in Army training material as a ‘hate group.’ The Army initially claimed it was an isolated incident.

“‘But as we looked into it, [we found] this is not an isolated incident,’ Nunnelee [told] OneNewsNow. ‘There are a number of cases where the Army has singled out the American Family Association and other Christian organizations as hate groups, and service men and women have been threatened with sanctions if they support these groups.”

After a tremendous public outcry – and in an embarrassing slap to the face of the SPLC – the Pentagon quickly backpedaled, later apologizing about the Camp Shelby incident and publicly admitting that, despite the SPLC’s absurd claims to the contrary, the AFA is not a “hate group.”

Still, rather than distancing itself from the anti-Christian SPLC as one might expect, the Obama administration has, instead, strengthened ties to the hard-left outfit. Even after this string of military scandals.

For instance, I recently learned that on its official website, the FBI lists as one of its primary “hate crimes resources,” the Southern Poverty Law Center.

This is especially mysterious when you consider that the FBI’s own verified hate crimes statistics are completely at odds with numbers put out by the SPLC in its fundraising propaganda. Whereas the FBI indicates that there was a sharp 24.3 percent decrease in hate crimes from 1996 to 2010, with racial hate crimes dropping by 41.9 percent, the SPLC incongruously claims that since 2000, the number of “hate groups” has somehow increased by 67.3 percent.

So send your money right away!

The FBI’s empirical data doesn’t track with the SPLC’s political propaganda. Consequently, by partnering so closely with this discredited organization, the Department of Justice significantly undermines its own credibility.

Still, while the SPLC has proven utterly unreliable in its actuarial acumen – as well as intentionally dishonest – it has also proven demonstrably dangerous in its prolonged campaign of anti-Christian agitation.

You may recall that it was the Southern Poverty Law Center’s somewhat clever, yet patently dishonest and reprehensible strategy of juxtaposing, as fellow “hate groups,” mainstream Christian organizations like the FRC and the AFA alongside violent extremist groups like the Aryan Brotherhood and the Skin Heads that, on Aug. 15, 2012, led to an actual act of domestic terrorism.

On that date, “gay” activist Floyd Lee Corkins II – who later confessed in court that he was spurred-on by the SPLC’s anti-Christian materials – entered the lobby of the Washington-based Family Research Council intending to kill every Christian within.

Corkins was armed with both a gun and a backpack full of ammunition. He also had 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches that he intended to rub in the faces of his would-be victims. (FRC had recently defended the food chain’s COO Dan Cathy for pro-natural marriage statements he made.)

The only thing standing between Corkins and mass murder was FRC facilities manager and security specialist Leo Johnson. As Corkins shouted disapproval for FRC’s “politics,” he shot Johnson who, despite a severely wounded arm, managed to tackle Corkins and disarm him.

Of Johnson’s actions, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said, “The security guard here is a hero, as far as I’m concerned.”

I agree.

Upon hearing of Leo’s selfless act of heroism, I was reminded of John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

But according to both the SPLC and the FBI (by virtue of its close ties to the group), Leo’s heart is, instead, full of hate. Everyone at FRC is hateful.

In fact, if you happen to be a Bible-believing Christian, you too are hateful.

You get the drill.

The Obama administration has absolutely no business partnering with this extremist organization – and it’s an outrage that it does. If this troubles you as much as it does me, please contact the FBI at (202) 324-3000 and respectfully voice your concern. Then call or email your local FBI office. (Click here to find that location.) It’s critical that freedom-loving Americans light-up the FBI’s phone lines and demand that all facets of government completely disassociate from the SPLC and disavow any further use of its anti-Christian propaganda.

The Southern Poverty Law Center must be held accountable for its inflammatory and potentially deadly anti-Christian bigotry.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Hillary Clinton’s Head Fake

Hillary Clinton’s Head Fake – New York Post

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was set to face a grilling from Congress this week over the terrorist attacks in Benghazi when she started channeling the late poet Shel Silverstein.

“I have the measles and the mumps / A gash, a rash and purple bumps,” said Clinton, in effect, informing the House and Senate (with regrets!) that she was suffering too many maladies to testify as expected about the Sept. 11 attack in Libya.

America’s top diplomat was to provide her first public answers regarding the murder of US Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Now that won’t happen.

Clinton’s story beggars belief: While traveling in Europe, she contracted a stomach virus . . . which made her dehydrated . . . which made her faint at home . . . which caused her to fall and hit her head . . . which gave her a nasty concussion.

So Clinton’s deputies will appear in her stead before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday to explain the State Department’s failures.

That is not nearly enough.

We’ve chided the Obama administration in the past for its lack of transparency – but this looks like one of the most transparent dodges in the history of diplomacy.

And if Congress allows the secretary of state to wriggle free from scrutiny in the last days of her tenure (she may be gone from Foggy Bottom before the next round of congressional hearings in 2013), it will be a shame on that body as well.

So it’s clear that Clinton needs to testify.

And the Republicans, at least, seem to realize it.

“We still don’t have information from the Obama administration on what went so tragically wrong in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of four patriotic Americans,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, when Clinton reported her noggin-bump. “This requires a public appearance by the secretary of state herself.”

Thursday’s hearing covers the State Department’s Accountability Review Board, the squad of DC luminaries who’ve been investigating the attack since October and who delivered their findings to Clinton yesterday.

The report may shed some light on the attack, but it behooves Clinton to explain why the administration spent weeks misleading the public by pinning blame for the strike on an obscure YouTube video.

No, she owes the public true accountability – not a paper press release from some former bureaucrats.

And that requires her to testify before Congress, before the public.

Nothing else will suffice.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

Obama Donors Got $21,000 In Government Money For Every $1 They Gave

Obama Donors Got $21,000 In Government Money For Every $1 They Gave – Front Page

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Who says that there are no great investments anymore? Sure the Stock Market might be uneven, but while free enterprise might be going to the dogs, there’s still one solid investment. Obama (OBM) whose shares just keep rising until the bubble bursts and he runs out of Chinese money to buy off his donors with.

Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, said President Barack Obama had a “recycling” program that used crony capitalism to reward its campaign contributors, who would then funnel money back to the Obama campaign.

Appearing on Fox News’s one-hour special on Thursday about the “District of Corruption” movie, Schweizer said crony capitalism was so rampant in the Obama administration that Obama campaign bundlers received more than $21,000 on average in government-backed loans and grants for every dollar they contributed to the Obama campaign.

Schweizer said the Obama administration treated taxpayer dollars as “gift bags” to give to its top donors, which he called “the Obama recycling program.”

One such company was Amyris biotechnologies in Berkeley, California. Weeks before Amyris received a $25 million grant from the Obama administration, Feinstein and her husband bought nearly a $1 million in equity in the company. Then, the initial investors, such as Gore, saw a $12 million investment balloon to more than $80 million after they took the company and cited the government grants as a reason the company would be successful. As Schweizer noted, the IPO was only possible because of taxpayer dollars.

Now there’s a classic example of people who didn’t build that.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

There Was No Protest Outside Libyan Consulate; Everything The Obama Regime Told Us Was A Lie

White House Comes Clean: No Protest Outside Libya Consulate – Big Peace

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a major Congressional hearing on the terror attack In Libya and in a desperately transparent attempt to get ahead of damaging news, at the very last minute tonight, the State Department finally came clean:

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In other words, absolutely everything we were told by our government – by President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Ambassador Susan Rice. White House Spokesman Jay Carney, and any number of staffers and surrogates – was 100% false.

There were no protests, no benign crowds exploited by local militias, and nothing had anything to do with a video. Our Ambassador, another diplomat, and two Navy SEALs were murdered in a brutally efficient and coordinated terrorist attack.

Period.

End of story.

In other words, just days after the president declared al-Qaeda all but obliterated at his convention in Charlotte, and because no one took direct threats and pleas for added security seriously, on the anniversary of September 11, four Americans were assassinated in Libya by al-Qaeda associates. And for days and days and days afterward, the Obama Administration covered this fact up with lies of omission, half-truths, double talk, and outright lies.

By keeping our focus and anger on a completely fabricated fable about a stupid video and a “spontaneous” protest gone bad, the White House could pretend the lack of security or the lack of turning a pile of intelligence into something “actionable,” wasn’t their fault.

What I would like to know is where was the evidence for this “spontaneous protest?” What was this nonsense based on? Because since day one, every piece of concrete evidence pointed to a coordinated terror attack. In fact, the only evidence I know of of a spontaneous protest gone bad was what our dishonest government was telling us.

And they told us this all the way through September 19.

When Ambassador Rice did the Sunday Show round-robin FOUR days after the attack, and told America…

We do not – we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.

…she lied.

During a White House briefing, when Jay Carney told this to the White House Press Corps a full SEVEN days after the attack

All I can tell you is that based on the information that we had then and have now we do not yet have indication that it was pre-planned or pre-meditated.

…he lied.

If the corrupt media were to give this unraveling scandal a tenth of the attention it deserves, Obama’s reelection chances would be non-existent. Libya isn’t just a scandal about criminally lax security, it’s also a cover up committed by a White House betting on the media to be a co-conspirator.

And thus far, with rare exception, that’s been a pretty safe bet.

And if Obama does win reelection, that’s when the media will finally stop protecting him and we can all expect his second term to be completely crippled by this scandal for years.

You know, had Obama been half as concerned with the security of overseas assets in the form of personnel and intelligence as he is with securing more welfare for Big Bird, the world would look a whole lot different today.

But Big Bird is Big Bird and Libya was just a “bump in the road.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Related article:

State Department Holds Conference Call On Benghazi Terror Attack, Excludes Fox News – Gateway Pundit

The Obama State Department held a conference call with reporters tonight on the Benghazi terror attack. They did not invite Fox News on the call. Bret Baier told viewers on Special Report that Fox is usually included on such calls.

During the call, the Obama State Department said there was no protest at the consulate on 9-11 and that terrorists attacked the compound after 8:30 PM. This contradicts directly what the administration was saying after the deadly 9-11 attacks.

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Related video:


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Fast And Furious Cover-Up Continues: Obama Asserts Executive Privilege Over Documents

Obama Asserts Executive Privilege Over Fast And Furious Documents – Daily Caller

President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious. The move followed Attorney General Eric Holder’s last-second request for him to do so, ahead of a scheduled House Oversight Committee vote to begin contempt of Congress proceedings against Holder.

Obama granted the 11th-hour request after negotiations between Holder and the committee’s chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, fell apart again on Tuesday evening after a 20-minute meeting. Holder had agreed beforehand that he would provide internal DOJ documents to Issa ahead of the meeting. He did not bring the documents. On Tuesday evening, Issa gave him one final chance to provide the documents before the 10 a.m. scheduled vote to hold Holder in contempt.

Holder again did not provide the documents to Congress. Then, on Wednesday morning, minutes before the meeting, it was announced Obama had agreed to assert executive privilege over those documents.

Appearing on Fox News shortly after the announcement, Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert said the next steps are for Congress to move forward with contempt proceedings. According to Fox News, Issa’s committee is expected to move forward with the contempt proceeding.

Ranking Member Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings said the assertion of executive privilege doesn’t block the committee from access to all documents, only some.

“As I understand it, the assertion does not cover everything in this category, such as whistleblower documents, and the administration has indicated that it remains willing to try to come to a mutual resolution despite its formal legal assertion,” Cummings said. “As a member of Congress, I treat assertions of executive privilege very seriously, and I believe they should be used only sparingly. In this case, it seems clear that the administration was forced into this position by the committee’s unreasonable insistence on pressing forward with contempt despite the attorney general’s good faith offer.”

The Hill reported that this is the first time Obama has ever asserted the executive privilege.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said this assertion raises more questions than answers.

“The assertion of executive privilege raises monumental questions,” Grassley said. “How can the President assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the President exert executive privilege over documents he’s supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme? The contempt citation is an important procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances. The questions from Congress go to determining what happened in a disastrous government program for accountability and so that it’s never repeated again.”

Indiana Republican Rep. Dan Burton, a former chair of the oversight committee for six years, said Issa has been “patient.” He said the president’s decision to assert executive privilege to withhold documents makes him wonder if Obama knew of Fast and Furious.
“The attorney general has asserted on numerous occasions that he didn’t know about this, now the president of the United States has claimed executive privilege,” Burton added. “And now that brings into question how much Holder knew about this, and that the president knew about this. My question is, who knew about this, how high up did it go, did it go to the attorney general or president of the united states and when did they know about this?”

New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney said she was “horrified” that Issa was moving forward with contempt proceedings after Obama asserted the executive privilege. She accused Issa of conducting a “political witch hunt” against Holder.

Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash tweeted that Obama’s assertion of executive privilege means Fast and Furious “must rise all the way to Pres. Obama.”

“Stunning admission by White House,” Amash tweeted.

House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel told The Daily Caller that President Obama’s claim of executive privilege implies a startling new allegation pertaining to Fast and Furious: The White House was either involved with the operation or a cover-up.

“Until now, everyone believed that the decisions regarding ‘Fast and Furious’ were confined to the Department of Justice,” Steel said in an email. “The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation or the cover-up that followed. The Administration has always insisted that wasn’t the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

‘Devoid Of Evidence,’ Holder Still Pursues Pro-Lifer

‘Devoid Of Evidence,’ Holder Still Pursues Pro-Lifer – WorldNetDaily

Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s hand-picked attorney general, is appealing a decision that favored a Florida pro-life activist even though the district judge who dismissed the case for lack of evidence said he considered sanctions against the federal government.

Holder’s notice of appeal yesterday to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida came in Eric H. Holder Jr. v. Mary Susan Pine.

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Harry Mihet, senior litigation counsel for Liberty Counsel, commented that the Justice Department “has apparently forgotten its name and that its purpose is to pursue justice, not unconstitutional, groundless claims manufactured by abortion clinics to intimidate and silence pro-life Americans.”

“Mr. Holder’s appeal will meet with the same fate as his initial lawsuit,” he said. “His time would be better spent protecting, rather than undermining, the Constitution he swore to uphold.”

The dispute was over whether Pine could be prosecuted under a federal law that bans obstructing access to a “clinic,” or in her case an abortion business.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp dismissed the complaint against the woman for lack of evidence, but he did not stop there.

Ryskamp charged that there appeared to be some sort of collusion between abortion business operators and the federal government. He suggested that if there was a little more evidence, he might have taken action.

“It is rather curious that the Department of Justice was able to meet with the [Presidential Women's Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.] staff and police officers the very next day after the alleged violations occurred. It is also curious that the government failed to make any efforts to obtain the identities of the passengers who are the alleged victims in this case – the court finds it hard to believe that the government was completely unaware of the existence of the sign-in sheets and video surveillance system,” he wrote.

The judge said the court “can only wonder whether this action was the product of a concerted effort between the government and the PWC, which began well before the date of the incident at issue, to quell Ms. Pine’s activities rather than to vindicate the rights of those allegedly aggrieved by Ms. Pine’s conduct.”

“If this is the case, the court would be inclined to sanction the government with, at a minimum, an adverse inference. Given the absence of further evidence substantiating the court’s suspicions, the court is not authorized to do so,” the judge wrote.

The judge’s 21-page ruling granting Pine a summary judgment and clearing her of the charges said the entire episode raised questions.

“The court is at a loss as to why the government chose to prosecute this particular case in the first place,” Ryskamp wrote. “The record [is] almost entirely devoid of evidence that Ms. Pine acted with the prohibited motive and intent or that Ms. Pine engaged in any unlawful conduct. The government has failed to create a genuine issue for trial on all three elements of its FACE (Federal Access to Clinic Entrances) claim, and Ms. Pine is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”

Federal prosecutors had accused her of stopping a car to talk to the occupants while they were going into a parking lot. There was no evidence that they were heading to an abortion clinic.

The judge wrote:

Congress, undoubtedly aware of FACE’s potential First Amendment implications, specifically provided that FACE shall not be construed “to prohibit any expressive conduct including peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstrations protected from legal prohibition by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

A person is entitled to express his or her views on abortion so long as by doing it does not interfere with another’s right to obtain an abortion. In this case, Ms. Pine was on a public driveway conducting a peaceful demonstration on an important topic of public concern…

Stretching the terms of FACE to apply to this case so that delaying a vehicle for a matter of seconds constitutes an unlawful physical obstruction, or so that a desire to provide people with information about alternatives to abortion constitutes an unlawful motive, would unjustifiably impinge on Ms. Pine’s First Amendment rights.

There is thus no competing constitutional right to justify the burden placed on Ms. Pine’s right of expression and hold her liable for a hefty civil penalty of up to $10,000.

Now, Liberty Counsel has confirmed that the case was absent “any evidence of wrongdoing,” but Holder was taking it to the next level anyway. The notice of appeal was signed by Cathleen S. Trainor, senior trial attorney, on behalf of Holder.

Liberty Counsel noted that the “Holder’s complete failure to present any evidence of wrongdoing, coupled with the DOJ’s cozy relationship with PWC and their joint failure to preserve video surveillance footage” prompted the judge to suspect “a conspiracy at the highest level of the Obama administration.”

Liberty Counsel confirmed it has asked Ryskamp to award Pine about $140,000 in attorney’s fees and costs for having to defend herself against “Holder’s political lawsuit.”

But, the legal firm said “the DOJ now appears to be doubling down, committing yet more taxpayer funds and resources to the abortion lobby’s efforts to silence pro-life Americans.”

Holder launched the attack on the women in 2010. Pine routinely approaches vehicles and pedestrians entering and exiting the PWC’s shared parking lot, talking about abortion and offering information about “life-affirming” alternatives, the court opinion explained.

“Sometimes people stop and accept her literature; many people do not.”

The situation developed on Nov. 19, 2009, when Sanjay Raja, a police officer, was on duty. He had positioned himself so he could observe Pine from about 300 feet away.

He reported a green sedan started entering the lot through the “exit only” drive, and stopped, and Pine approached the driver’s window. The driver rolled the window down, and she talked with the driver and a passenger.

The officer told them not to block traffic, and the car moved on.

The DOJ started working on a FACE prosecution the next day, but the judge noted that the government never asked for any surveillance videos or login records from the abortion business, and they later were destroyed routinely.

The judge noted Pine sought the dismissal because the government failed to prove she obstructed the sedan or even that the vehicle occupants were en route to the abortion business.

“Although one might suspect that the government was in fact aware of such facts [about surveillance videos], and that it purposely neglected to prevent destruction of the sign-in sheets and surveillance tapes because they were detrimental to its FACE claim, mere speculation is insufficient to support a finding of bad faith,” the judge wrote. “The government’s failure to take the necessary steps to prevent the destruction of potentially critical evidence was indeed negligent, and perhaps even grossly negligent.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

It’s Still On: Six More Members Of Congress Call For Eric Holder’s Resignation

It’s Still On: Six More Members Of Congress Call For Eric Holder’s Resignation – Hot Air

Between the contraception kerfuffle and the GOP primaries, the MSM has had too much to cover to tackle the fallout from Fast and Furious, too. Just kidding. Even if nothing else were going on, you’d still hear this news from just a handful of people.

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The Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle reports this morning that the count of congressmen calling for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation has reached 109:

Spokespeople for Florida Republican Reps. Cliff Stearns and Mario Diaz-Balart told The Daily Caller their bosses agree with the surging group of members already demanding Holder’s resignation. Meanwhile, four new members have signed onto the official House resolution of “no confidence” in Holder – House Resolution 490 – because of Fast and Furious: Republican Reps. Bill Huizenga of Michigan, Cory Gardner of Colorado, and Pete Olson and Mike Conaway, both of Texas.

The groundswell has grown steadily since the first House members demanded Holder resign last October. Three U.S. Senators, two sitting governors and all major Republican presidential candidates have joined those 109 House members.

As a reminder, Fast and Furious – a program of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – was a purported drug-busting operation in which ATF officials intentionally sold guns to straw purchasers who, in turn, sold the weapons to leaders of Mexican drug cartels. But if the intention of the officials was to bust the cartels, they had a curious way of showing it: No credible attempt was made to track the weapons from the hands of the straw purchasers into the hands of the drug cartel leaders. As a result, the weapons were never interdicted and some have since shown up on the scene of violent crimes in both the U.S. and Mexico. The ultimately lethal program led to the deaths of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and more than 200 Mexicans. Hundreds more of the guns are still not accounted for and likely to turn up at the scenes of future tragedies.

The congressional investigation led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has revealed enough for us to know Attorney General Eric Holder was either aware and in approval of the program or incompetent and negligent – either of which scenario would be grounds for Obama to demand his resignation.

My question: Why have just 109 congressmen called for this man to leave the administration? Do they not care about U.S.-Mexico relations, border security or the deaths of more than 200 people?

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

Name That Party: Former Kerry Staffer Charged With Leaking Top Secret Information

Name That Party: Former Kerry Staffer Charged With Leaking Top Secret Information – Newsbusters

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou has been charged today with “repeatedly leaking classified information to journalists as well as violating the federal law that forbids disclosing the identity of covert intelligence officers,” NBC News’s Michael Isikoff reported earlier today.

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Isikoff noted in the second paragraph of his report that Kiriakou “between 2009 and last year worked as an investigator for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

The Washington Post’s Greg Miller also filed a story on the matter this afternoon, but omitted the fact that Kiriakou, who contributes to the liberal Huffington Post, was hired by the liberal senior senator from Massachusetts.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

Daily Benefactor News – Obama’s 2008 New Media Director Arrested For Attempting To Steal Identity Of Iowa Secretary Of State

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Obama’s 2008 New Media Director Arrested For Attempting To Steal Identity Of Iowa Secretary Of State – Iowa Republican

Barack Obama’s 2008 Iowa New Media Director was arrested Friday for attempting to use the identities of Secretary of State Matt Schultz, and/or his brother Thomas, with the intent to falsely implicate the Secretary Schultz in illegal or unethical behavior. Zach Edwards, 29, of Des Moines, currently works for Link Strategies, a Democrat-affiliated organization with ties to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Edwards is the Director of New Media for Link Strategies.

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The Secretary of State’s office discovered the alleged crime and reported it to authorities. Edwards turned himself in to the Iowa DCI agents Friday afternoon. He was charged with identity theft, a misdemeanor, and booked into the Polk County jail. Edwards posted $2,000 bail and was released later on Friday. He faces up to two years in prison.

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Zach Edwards’ bio on Link Strategies website says he joined the Obama campaign in early 2007 as an intern in Nevada. He eventually joined the New Media department and directed their operations in five other primary states. He was the Iowa Director of New Media for Barack Obama’s general election campaign. After the election, Edwards joined Link Strategies, “where he provides innovative web-based research tools, video analysis and production, and web-based communication tools to assist our clients,” according to the bio.

Those clients include Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. On the Link Strategies testimonial page, Harkin credits the political consultant group for his electoral success. “The folks at Link Strategies have been helping me win campaigns since 1996. Whether it is managing campaigns or handling research, their specialty is doing quality work while finding smart, creative solutions to problems. In a tough fight, there is no question that I want Link Strategies in my corner.”

Jeff Link, the founder of Link Strategies, ran the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in Iowa in 2000. He managed Tom Harkin’s 2002 and 2008 reelection campaigns. Link also served as a media consultant for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.

Since his surprise victory over incumbent Michael Mauro in November 2010, Secretary of State Schultz has been a target of the Iowa Democratic Party. Interestingly, on June 24, the same day as Zach Edwards alleged crime, Under the Golden Dome, a blog connected to Iowa Democrats, launched a three-part series of articles critical of Matt Schultz. They were based on documents obtained through an open records request from “a tipster.” The blog alleged that a batch of emails from Schultz’s office “raise some serious questions about his ability to remain independent and ensure election integrity”.

Just 15 days earlier, on June 9, the Iowa Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint against Schultz, claiming the Secretary of State of used public resources to campaign against presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman. The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board dismissed the complaint on July 19.

To read the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s press release on Edwards” arrest, click here.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Federal Government Penalizing Oil Companies For Not Using Biofuel That Doesn’t Exist

Federal Government Penalizing Oil Companies For Not Using Biofuel That Doesn’t Exist – Motor City Times

This is absurd:

When the companies that supply motor fuel close the books on 2011, they will pay about $6.8 million in penalties to the Treasury because they failed to mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel as required by law.

But there was none to be had. Outside a handful of laboratories and workshops, the ingredient, cellulosic biofuel, does not exist.

In 2012, the oil companies expect to pay even higher penalties for failing to blend in the fuel, which is made from wood chips or the inedible parts of plants like corncobs. Refiners were required to blend 6.6 million gallons into gasoline and diesel in 2011 and face a quota of 8.65 million gallons this year.

“It belies logic,” Charles T. Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association, said of the 2011 quota. And raising the quota for 2012 when there is no production makes even less sense, he said.

As pointed out previously here at MCT bio-fuels, much like the green energy movement in total, makes little economic or logical sense.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

Santorum Says Senate Should Sue Over Obama Appointments

Santorum Says Senate Should Sue Over Obama Appointments – The Hill

Rick Santorum said the Senate should sue over President Obama’s decision Wednesday to appoint Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and name three members to vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board.

“What the president did was wrong – pretty scary stuff,” Santorum said.

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“I hope that the United States Senate does what they’re supposed to do, and they should go and even take the president to court. This is not something that the president should get away with,” he added.

Republicans had been hoping to cripple the agencies, unpopular in conservative circles, by refusing to confirm appointments. The GOP maintained Wednesday that the president’s move was unconstitutional because the Senate was in a pro forma session and not technically in recess, during which the president can make temporary appointments.

Obama defended the move in a speech in Ohio on Wednesday.

“When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them,” Obama said. “I have an obligation to act on behalf of the American people.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

House To Hold Hearing On Obama Immigration Visa Abuses

House To Hold Hearing On Obama Immigration Visa Abuses – Washington Examiner

House investigators will hold a hearing this week on President Obama’s immigrant visa application policy following an inspector general report that immigration enforcement bureaucrats pressure officers to approve potentially fraudulent immigrant visa applications.

“It’s outrageous that administration officials would compromise national security for their own political agenda and gain,” said House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas. “The Immigration Subcommittee plans to hold a hearing in February on visa fraud and will investigate these alleged abuses by the administration,” he added.

Smith was responding to “a recent Inspector General report that Obama administration officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS] have pressured officers to rush questionable immigrant visa applications,” saying that such a policy “undermines the integrity of our immigration system and threatens national security.”

The Daily reported today that “A 40-page report, drafted by the Office of Inspector General in September but not publicly released, details the immense pressure immigration service officers are under to approve visa applications quickly, sometimes while overlooking concerns about fraud, eligibility or security.”

The Daily added that at least five immigration enforcement officers had faced reassignment or demotion for denying too many visa applications.

“These applications need thorough vetting because they often lead to U.S. citizenship,” Smith also said in his statement.

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Related article

Probe Reveals Feds Pressuring Agents To Rush Immigrant Visas, Even If Fraud Is Feared – The Daily

Higher-ups within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services are pressuring rank-and-file officers to rubber-stamp immigrants’ visa applications, sometimes against the officers’ will, according to a Homeland Security report and internal documents exclusively obtained by The Daily.

A 40-page report, drafted by the Office of Inspector General in September but not publicly released, details the immense pressure immigration service officers are under to approve visa applications quickly, sometimes while overlooking concerns about fraud, eligibility or security.

One-quarter of the 254 officers surveyed said they have been pressured to approve questionable cases, sometimes “against their will.”

The report does not call out any particular officials and indicates that the agency has had a problem with valuing quantity over quality since at least the 1980s.

But high-ranking USCIS officials said the pressure has heightened after the Obama administration appointed Alejandro Mayorkas as director in August 2009 during an effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform, bringing with him a mantra of “get to yes.”

Internal communications provided to The Daily indicate that the new leadership seemed to fundamentally clash with career agency employees over when to afford the benefit of the doubt, culminating in a whistle-blower investigation into a senior appointee and, ultimately, the agency-wide inspector general inquiry that produced the report.

“We recognize their right to interpret things as liberally as possible, but you still have to follow the law,” said one high-ranking official who was unhappy with the current push.

At least five agency veterans seen as being too tough on applicants were either demoted, or given the choice between a demotion or a relocation from Southern California – where their families were – to San Francisco and Nebraska, according to sources and letters of reassignment provided to The Daily.

Those kind of threats have caused lower-level employees to fall in line, sources said.

“People are afraid,” said one longtime manager, who requested anonymity for fear of being fired. “Integrity only carries people so far because they’ve got to pay the rent.”

A rank-and-file officer who was not involved in the investigation claimed he was demoted to working on less technical cases because he had a high denial rate. “They don’t reprimand you, they just move you,” he said.

“They attempted to basically get me to come into line and approve a bunch of cases. And I just wouldn’t compromise myself because the approvals they ordered, they weren’t in line with the laws,” said the officer.

These employees’ claims are reflected in the inspector general report, which found that 14 percent of respondents had “serious concerns” that employees who focused on fraud or ineligibility were evaluated unfairly. The report also found that supervisors sometimes take cases away from an unwilling officer and assign them to someone else, against agency rules.

Recommendations for improvements in the report included raising the burden of proof and doing away with the popular informal and special appeals practices, which immigration lawyers said would only lengthen an already onerous process.

Attorney David Leopold, who was recently president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said the formal appeals process can take up to two years.

“When you’re dealing with business visas, those visas cannot wait around a year, or two years, for review. They needed an answer yesterday,” said Leopold. “I think when they’ve [the officers] made a mistake at that level… sometimes you can just reason with people and ask them to take a look at it again.”

Nevertheless, USCIS approved 86 percent of the 3.9 million immigration cases it reviewed between October 2008 and October 2009 – a 4 percent drop from the year before, according to the most recent data provided to The Daily.

And immigration attorneys complained that it seems like officers are just looking for reasons to deny a case, and already demand a higher standard of proof than what is required. That standard is now considered a 51 percent likelihood that a fact is true.

“We’re getting ridiculous denials and requests for evidence on things that should be approved very easily,” said immigration attorney Deb Notkin, adding that it’s particularly tough for specialty industries like fashion, software development and graphic design.

The attorneys applauded Mayorkas’ more open dialogue with them, and other proponents of immigration reform, who had previously felt shut out of the bureaucracy. “Mayorkas, to his credit, is very accessible, so we are able to express our concerns about the adjudication process,” said Leopold.

But sometimes, the openness led to a perception that private attorneys were “running” the agency, according to the inspector general’s report, which cited emails in which individual cases were granted special review after private attorneys complained to management.

Mayorkas and Homeland Security press officers said yesterday they could not comment on the allegations.

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Obama’s Latest Unconstitutional Power Grab

Obama Bucks Republicans By Making Unprecedented Recess Appointment – Washington Times

Congressional officials said President Obama has used his recess appointment powers Wednesday to name a head for the controversial new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a move Republican lawmakers said amounted to an unconstitutional power grab.

Mr. Obama made the appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray even though the Senate, which has the power to confirm nominees, considers itself still in session.

But the White House argues Republican senators stonewalled the nominee for so long that Mr. Obama had no choice but to circumvent them.

In making the appointment, Mr. Obama rejected the precedent set by former President Clinton and the precedent Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats set under President George W. Bush in 2007 and 2008.

“Although the Senate is not in recess, President Obama, in an unprecedented move, has arrogantly circumvented the American people,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.

GOP House Speaker John A. Boehner called the move “an extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab by President Obama that defies centuries of practice and the legal advice of his own Justice Department.”

“The precedent that would be set by this cavalier action would have a devastating effect on the checks and balances that are enshrined in our Constitution,” the Ohio Republican said in a statement.
Administration officials told the Associated Press they anticipate the move may be challenged in court.

The president is expected to introduce Mr. Cordray during a trip to Ohio Wednesday, and in prepared remarks the AP reported Mr. Obama will call Senate Republicans’ ongoing blockade of his nomination “inexcusable.”

“I refuse to take ‘No’ for an answer. I’ve said before that I will continue to look for every opportunity to work with Congress to move this country forward. But when Congress refuses to act in a way that hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them,” according to the prepared remarks.

The Constitution gives the president the power to make appointments when the Senate is not in session and able to confirm them. Traditionally that has been understood to mean when the Senate has adjourned for a recess longer than 10 days, and a Clinton administration legal opinion said a recess must be at least three days.

Mr. Obama, though, acted only a day after the Senate held a session, albeit an abbreviated one with no real business transacted.

Mr. Obama’s move also contradicts the precedent he and fellow Democrats abided by in 2007 and 2008 when they used the same three-day strategy to prevent Mr. Bush from making his own recess appointments.

“I am keeping the Senate in pro forma to prevent recess appointments until we get this process back on track,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said on Nov. 16, 2007, as he announced his strategy of having the Senate convene twice a week for pro forma sessions.

On Wednesday, though, Mr. Reid said he backed the president’s move.

“I support President Obama’s decision to make sure that in these tough economic times, middle-class families in Nevada and across the country will have the advocate they deserve to fight on their behalf against the reckless practices that denied so many their economic security,” he said.

But by abrogating decades of understanding of the recess appointment power Mr. Obama threatened to spark a full legislative war with Congress.

“Breaking from this precedent lands this appointee in uncertain legal territory, threatens the confirmation process and fundamentally endangers the Congress’s role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch,” Mr. McConnell said.

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White House Sets New Obstacle To Immigration Enforcement

White House Sets New Obstacle To Immigration Enforcement – Daily Caller

An administration Dec. 29 memo declares that illegal immigrants may have to be held until they’re convicted in local courts before the federal government will begin deportation proceedings.

The declaration “means lots of criminal aliens will be released if the locals don’t have the resources or inclination to prosecute, or if the [suspect] is found not guilty because of a technicality,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

The new rule shows “the administration wants to give up one of the most important tools in preserving public safety,” said Krikorian. “We’ll have more and more instances of illegals released by police because [federal immigration officials] wouldn’t take them [and] who then go on to commit some heinous crime.”

President Barack Obama’s campaign aides frequently say they’re seeking Hispanic support to win crucial states, such as North Carolina and Arizona. On Dec. 19, for example, Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina released a video in which he said Arizona was winnable because “hundreds of thousands” of people in the state have not registered to vote.”

The campaign is using Hispanic ethnic lobbies, such as La Raza, to help register Hispanics and to persuade them to vote in November.

But the ethnic lobbies have their own demands.

They want easier immigration for their ethnic or religious groups, including Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, Irish and Muslims.

The public and Congress oppose amnesty bills, so the lobbies’ demands have prompted administration officials to roll back enforcement of immigration laws.

In recent months, Eric Holder, the scandal-plagued attorney general, has launched lawsuits against successful reforms implemented by several states – including Arizona – and has sued Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s police department in Arizona.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has let her political deputies end routine checks of travelers in bus depots and has stopped legal proceedings against many illegals. Her department has ordered immigration officials to largely ignore illegals who have not been convicted of major crimes. She also released the new memo on Dec. 29.

The Dec. 29 memo also announced a new 24-hour legal-aid hotline for illegal immigrants and a revised checklist for federal immigration officers.

The checklist is dubbed a “detainer” form, which federal officers have long used to request a state or local counterparts hold an illegal immigrant for an extra 48 hours beyond that allowed by local courts.

The new “detainer” form includes an additional box that federal officials can tick to “make the detainer operative only upon the individual’s conviction of the offense for which he or she was arrested.”

The political impact of the rollback policy is unclear because most Hispanics voters tell pollsters that their top political priorities are the economy and education, not immigration.

Pollsters say Hispanics’ voting is heavily influenced by candidates’ apparent insults or compliments of their community. That respect factor works to the Democrats’ advantage because many GOP candidates’ support for the enforcement of immigration law is portrayed as personal animus towards Hispanics.

Obama’s approval among Hispanics is down from its 2008 level, however, it remains above 60 percent.

The effort to rollback enforcement of immigration law follows the refusal by the White House to push for an amnesty bill.

The White House balked, in part, because the public and Congress oppose any amnesty that would bring more low-skilled workers into an economy where unemployment is above 10 percent among low-skilled workers, Hispanics and African-Americans.

Unemployment is so high that fewer than 50 percent of African-American males aged between 20 and 30 have a full-time job.

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Your Daley Gator Anti-Leftist Cartoon O’ The Day

Solyndra: Politics Infused Obama Energy Programs

Solyndra: Politics Infused Obama Energy Programs – Washington Post

Linda Sterio remembers the excitement when President Obama arrived at Solyndra last year and described how his administration’s financial support for the plant was helping create hundreds of jobs. The company’s prospects appeared unlimited as Solyndra executives described the backlog of orders for its solar panels.

Then came the August morning when Sterio heard a newscaster announce that more than a thousand Solyndra employees were out of work. Only recently did she learn that, within the Obama administration, the company’s potential collapse had long been discussed.

“It’s not about the people; it’s politics,” said Sterio, who remains jobless and at risk of losing her home. “We all feel betrayed.”

Since the failure of the company, Obama’s entire $80 billion clean-technology program has begun to look like a political liability for an administration about to enter a bruising reelection campaign.

Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal ­e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.

The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned that financial disaster might lie ahead, the administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra.

The documents reviewed by The Post, which began examining the clean-technology program a year ago, provide a detailed look inside the day-to-day workings of the upper levels of the Obama administration. They also give an unprecedented glimpse into high-level maneuvering by politically connected clean-technology investors.

They show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the “optics” in Washington and the impact that the company’s failure could have on the president’s prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-
energy technology.

“What’s so troubling is that politics seems to be the dominant factor,” said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group. “They’re not talking about what the taxpayers are losing; they’re not talking about the failure of the technology, whether we bet on the wrong horse. What they are talking about is ‘How are we going to manage this politically?’ ”

The administration, which excluded lobbyists from policymaking positions, gave easy access to venture capitalists with stakes in some of the companies backed by the administration, the records show. Many of those investors had given to Obama’s 2008 campaign. Some took jobs in the administration and helped manage the clean-
energy program.

Documents show that senior officials pushed career bureaucrats to rush their decision on the loan so Vice President Biden could announce it during a trip to California. The records do not establish that anyone pressured the Energy Department to approve the Solyndra loan to benefit political contributors, but they suggest that there was an unwavering focus on promoting Solyndra and clean energy. Officials with the company and the administration have said that nothing untoward occurred and that the loan was granted on its merits.

Most documents that have been made public in connection with a congressional investigation relate to the period after the loan was granted. The process began in the George W. Bush administration but resulted in the first loan in the program being granted under Obama. As a result, many factors that led to Solyndra winning a half-billion-dollar federal loan remain unknown.

White House officials said that all key records regarding Solyndra’s loan approval have been released.

Officials acknowledged that some of the records provide an unvarnished view that they might have preferred to keep private – such as a senior energy adviser’s reference to a conference call about Solyndra as a “[expletive] show,” or a company investor writing that when Solyndra was mentioned in a meeting, Biden’s office “about had an orgasm.”

Officials said those unflattering disclosures reinforce their position that they are not hiding their actions and that, despite the blemishes, nothing suggests political considerations affected the original decision to extend the loan to Solyndra. They stressed that the administration disregarded advice to avoid political problems by replacing senior Energy Department managers and moving to abort Obama’s visit to Solyndra.

“Everything disclosed… affirms what we said on day one: This was a merit-based decision made by expert staffers at the Department of Energy,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement.

Officials said that concern for workers was reflected in the administration’s decision to allow Solyndra employees to receive aid under a program for workers displaced by foreign competition.

“When Solyndra’s liquidity crisis became clear, the Department of Energy underwent a robust effort to find a viable path forward for the company,” the White House’s prepared statement said. “This administration is one that will fiercely fight to protect jobs even when it’s not the popular thing to do.”

Star power in D.C.

Like most presidential appearances, Obama’s May 2010 stop at Solyndra’s headquarters was closely managed political theater.

Obama’s handlers had lengthy e-mail discussions about how solar panels should be displayed (from a robotic arm, it was decided). They cautioned the company’s chief executive against wearing a suit (he opted for an open-neck shirt and black slacks) and asked another executive to wear a hard hat and white smock. They instructed blue-collar employees to wear everyday work clothes, to preserve what they called “the construction-worker feel.”

White House e-mails suggest that the original idea for “POTUS involvement” originated with then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel, now mayor of Chicago, did not respond to a request for comment from The Post.

Well beyond the details of the factory photo op, raw political considerations surfaced repeatedly in conversations among many in the administration.

Just two days before the visit, Obama fundraiser Steve Westly warned senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett that an appearance could be problematic. Westly, an investment fund manager with stakes in green-energy companies, said he was speaking for a number of Obama supporters in asking the president to postpone the visit because Solyndra’s financial prospects were dim and the company’s failure could generate negative media attention.

“The president should be careful about unrealistic/optimistic forecasts that could haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall,” Westly wrote. Westly did not respond to a request for comment from The Post.

Similar concerns arose repeatedly among officials inside the White House. One staffer at the Office of Management and Budget suggested to a colleague that the visit could “prove embarrassing to the administration in the not too distant future.” Even Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, acknowledged “risk” in the trip.

But administration officials ultimately waved off the jitters, after assurances from Energy Department officials that their policy was sound and that Solyndra’s troubles would be fleeting. After Obama’s trip, the administration hung a photo from his visit on a wall in the West Wing, to underscore good things to come.

Solyndra’s financial picture did not improve, however, and by year’s end the company was crumbling. Its investors pitched bailout plans, seeking help from what a Solyndra executive referred to as the “Bank of Washington” – his apparent term for U.S. taxpayers. The Energy Department rebuffed the plans, at least initially.

In late 2010, Solyndra board member Steve Mitchell told his associates that Energy Department officials had conceded that additional financing was necessary yet said in private meetings that they lacked the political muscle to deliver it. “The DOE really thinks politically before it thinks economically,” Mitchell concluded. A spokesman for Mitchell said he would have no comment for this article. An Energy Department spokesman said that all decisions regarding the loan were based on merit.

Solyndra eventually realized that it had to lay off workers to stay afloat – no small step for a company that the president had backed to create jobs in a recession. But ­records indicate that the Energy Department urged company officials to delay the move until after the contentious November 2010 midterm elections, which imperiled Democratic control of Congress.

Despite the effect that timing might have on workers, one e-mail among company investors ended the discussion by asserting: “No announcement till after elections at doe request.” An Energy Department spokesman did not respond to requests for comment for this article.

More than once, investors wrote that the administration appeared to be making particular decisions to avoid looking “bad.” A December 2010 e-mail between administration officials’ staffers seemed to confirm the suspicions, concluding that “a meltdown” at Solyndra “would likely be very embarrassing for DOE and the Administration.”

An outside energy adviser foresaw serious political damage, writing to senior West Wing officials in February to warn that because federal loans went to companies linked to Obama donors, a wave of Republican attacks “are surely coming.” He recommended that Obama consider replacing Energy Secretary Steven Chu and his deputies, perhaps with a bipartisan management team.

A Solyndra board member, in a memo, described at length mistakes he thought that company founder Christian Gronet had made, saying that some of the stories about his actions “border on moronic” and that Gronet’s missteps had sparked an executive mutiny. ­Gronet survived, the board member suggested, only because of his close relationship with Energy Department leaders and because he had “star power in D.C.”

Gronet’s attorney, Miles Ehrlich, said in a statement last week that Gronet did his best but ­acknowledged that there had been internal debate about the business strategies he chose.

Political calculus was especially on display in an e-mail early this year between administration staffers who calibrated the damage that could result from pushing back Solyndra’s collapse by a few months at a time.

“The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad whenever it occurs,” an OMB staff member wrote to a colleague. “If Solyndra defaults down the road, the optics will arguably be worse later than they would be today… In addition, the timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up.”

Solyndra executives and investors were attuned to the value of playing politics. Memos from Solyndra’s lobbying firm, McBee Strategic Consulting, stressed the need to “socialize” with leaders in Washington and to mobilize a lobbying effort described variously as quiet, surgical and aggressive.

Dinner in Vegas

Beyond the West Wing, the documents provide a vivid glimpse into high-level machinations inside the world of clean-energy entrepreneurs.

Solyndra’s strongest political connection was to George Kaiser, a Democratic fundraiser and oil industry billionaire who had once hosted Obama at his home in Oklahoma. Kaiser’s family foundation owned more than a third of the solar panel company, and Kaiser took a direct interest in its operations.

With the 2010 midterm elections just days away, Kaiser flew to Las Vegas to help the party cause. He was a guest at a private fundraising dinner for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), but the real attraction at the event was its headliner – Obama. Realizing he might have an opportunity to talk with the president, Kaiser’s staff prepped him with talking points about Solyndra.

Kaiser did not have to angle for Obama’s attention. Organizers seated him next to the world’s most powerful man – for two hours.

“OK, I’ll admit it. It was pretty intoxicating,” Kaiser effused in an e-mail to an associate at 5:30 the next morning. “Charming and incisive as always. Casual conversation; not speechifying.”

Kaiser did not squander his time. While he avoided the use of the word “Solyndra,” according to the account he later gave to colleagues, he complained to the president about Chinese manufacturers dumping cheap solar panels on the U.S. market and pressed Obama’s deputy chief of staff about the need for a Buy American Act for federal agencies. The company was intent on making the federal government a major customer – part of what a Solyndra investment adviser called the “Uncle Sam” strategy – and the new act would give Solyndra an advantage.

Kaiser, who has declined in­terview requests, said through spokesman Renzi Stone that he has not discussed Solyndra’s loan “with the U.S. government.” Other e-mails show that he rejected requests to take a more forceful role in advocating for the company.

Nonetheless, records show that Kaiser, a frequent visitor to the White House, was in contact with officials at Solyndra and its biggest investors, and advised them on leveraging the power of the West Wing.

“Why don’t you pursue your contacts with the WH?” Kaiser advised a Solyndra board member in October 2010.

Nonprofit law specialists said that Kaiser’s focus on Solyndra was striking, because he had no official role at the company and had no personal investment in the corporation. After amassing a fortune in the oil and banking industries, Kaiser had endowed a nonprofit corporation that bore his name, but he did not sit on its board.

The nonprofit corporation, known as the George Kaiser Family Foundation, had its own investment fund, which owned a third of Solyndra. Mitchell, a Solyndra board member, was the fund’s manager.

Despite those walls between Kaiser and Solyndra, e-mail exchanges show that Mitchell repeatedly sought Kaiser’s counsel and in one instance requested ­“authority” to make a major move.

Nonprofit experts stressed that once Kaiser donated his money to charity – and thereby qualified for millions of dollars in tax breaks – the money was no longer his under federal law.

Kaiser arrived in Las Vegas on the Friday night of the fundraiser, carrying a photo of himself and the president, which Obama signed for him. Over the evening, the oilman’s conversation moved from social chatter to business.

“I talked in general about the Chinese and solar but didn’t want to get too specific with him,” Kaiser told associates. “I did talk to him about the Chinese subsidy over the past nine months and the effect it was having on U.S. solar and wind manufacturers… I thought that a more aggressive trade policy with the Chinese was essential… [Obama] said that these issues would be addressed aggressively at the G-20.”

As for majority leader Reid, Kaiser confided in his e-mails: “Harry was mushy nice… Barack said privately that Harry would win by a small margin. I hope he’s right.”

Stone said last week that the dinner was only the second time Kaiser had met the president and that there was nothing wrong with Kaiser taking an interest in the foundation and its investments. While the foundation’s board respected Kaiser’s advice, its members made all the financial decisions, he said.

Packing up

Today, a handful of Solyndra employees remain at its Silicon Valley factory, helping wind down operations. Of the 1,100 workers who lost their jobs, an estimated 90 percent remain unemployed, such as Sterio. She’s relying on help from relatives to make payments on her home, where she lives with her ailing husband and four grandchildren.

Solyndra has failed to attract a buyer who would keep the plant operating, so it is trying to unload its assets piecemeal to pay off its debts. The first $75 million recovered is expected to go to Kaiser’s nonprofit organization and other investors; it is unclear how much will be left for taxpayers.

Along with selling its microscopes and industrial robots, the company in November auctioned off the 30-foot-long blue banner that served as a backdrop for Obama’s factory visit.

Winning bidder Scott Logsdon, a laid-off Solyndra worker who’s been lucky enough to land a new job, snapped up the sign for $400. He’s hoping that with all of the political attention Solyndra’s failure has received, the value of the sign will appreciate by Election Day.

It reads: “Solyndra… Made in the USA.”

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Holder Admits Lies In Fast And Furious, Refuses To Resign

Holder Admits Lies In Fast And Furious, Refuses To Resign – New American

Instead of offering his resignation as a growing chorus of critics has demanded, Attorney General Eric Holder (left) is going on the offensive over his alleged perjury and the growing scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s deadly “Fast and Furious” program that supplied weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

Meanwhile, Holder is also calling for more gun control while attacking Congress for shedding light on the alleged government criminality. But Republicans and some Democrats are still pursuing the truth.

In May Holder testified before Congress – under oath – that he had learned about the gun-running scheme only “in the last few weeks.” But last week, he changed his story after it became well known via the Justice Department’s own documents that his claim was completely false.

……………………….

“In my testimony before the House committee, I did say ‘a few weeks.’ I probably could have said ‘a couple of months,’” Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee on November 8. “I don’t think that what I said in terms of using the term ‘a few weeks’ was inaccurate, based on what happened.”

As it turns out, however, Holder is still not telling the truth. And the evidence that shows it was still available on the Department of Justice’s own website by November 14.

“My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner,” Holder boasted in April of 2009 at an arms trafficking conference in Mexico. Gunrunner, of course, is the very same operation being investigated by Congress after whistleblowers exposed it.

Holder also admitted that a letter sent to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) by Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich claiming that the ATF was not deliberately allowing guns across the border was “inaccurate.” But, Holder claimed, DOJ was not lying on purpose – it was the field office’s fault.

Still, Senators were outraged that they had been misled. “It’s unconscionable that a federal agency would let such a misleading letter stand for more than nine months,” Grassley said. “The head of the Criminal Division knew it was false, his deputy knew it was false, the whistleblowers knew it was false, the documents suggested it was false, and I discovered it was false – but, if Congress had relied on the department’s official talking points, we still wouldn’t know the truth today.”

In his testimony last week, Holder pointed to an ongoing internal investigation of the program as evidence that something was being done. He promised it never should have happened and that he would hold lower-ranking bureaucrats accountable after the Inspector General concludes his inquiry.

But so far, officials involved in the operation have simply been transferred to other positions. And some have even been promoted, provoking a furor among critics.

In a slight change of tone, however, Holder finally admitted during his testimony last week that the gun-running scheme was “flawed in concept, as well as in execution.” Similar operations must “never” happen again, he added.

“Unfortunately, we will feel its effects for years to come as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crime scenes both here and in Mexico,” the Attorney General said. So far the Obama administration’s weapons have been linked to the murders of at least two U.S. federal lawmen and countless civilians.

Despite the acknowledgments, however, Holder also lashed out at congressional critics. More than a few have called for his resignation, saying he perjured himself and that he is “unfit” for office. One Republican even suggested Holder and other DOJ officials were an “accessory to murder.”

Holder doesn’t seem to think so, though. “I’d like to correct some of the inaccurate, and frankly, irresponsible accusations surrounding Fast and Furious,” he told the Senate Committee. And as part of what analysts called his new “aggressive” strategy, Holder also recently sent an angry letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has played a key role in the congressional investigation.

“I cannot sit idly by as a majority member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform suggests, as happened this week, that law enforcement and government employees who devote their lives to protecting our citizens be considered ‘accessories to murder,’ ” Holder wrote. “Such irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms.”

According to critics, Holder is trying to deflect the uproar over the deadly scheme by blaming it on Republican politics. And early on during his testimony, he seemed to confirm that suspicion when he claimed: “I am determined to ensure that our shared concerns about Operation Fast and Furious lead to more than headline-grabbing Washington ‘gotcha’ games and cynical political point-scoring.”

But the Attorney General, whose term has been clouded by scandals since he took office, still refused to accept any responsibility for the thousands of guns his department put in the hands of criminals. Instead, he laid part of the blame on the size of his bureaucracy.

“I cannot be expected to know the details of every operation that is ongoing,” Holder told Senators. “As I look at the information as it was brought to me, I think that I acted in a responsible way by ordering the inspector general investigation, by issuing the directive to the field.”

But according to law enforcement advocates and border groups, the DOJ cannot possibly be trusted to investigate itself – a special prosecutor and a formal congressional investigation are likely needed. And the calls for a real investigation – along with demands for Holder’s resignation and possible prosecution – are growing louder.

Obama’s top law enforcer also admitted that he had not apologized to the family of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, and refused to apologize when offered the opportunity to do so. Terry was killed close to the border late last year and several “Fast and Furious” guns were recovered at the crime scene.

“It pains me whenever there is the death of a law enforcement official, especially under the circumstances that this occurred,” Holder claimed. “It is not fair, however, to assume that the mistakes that happened in Fast and Furious directly led to the death of Agent Terry.”

Following Holder’s testimony, however, the family demanded that he accept responsibility. “Mr. Holder needs to own up to Operation Fast and Furious,” the slain agent’s relatives said in a statement. “In the end, Mr. Holder may choose not to apologize to the Terry family for the role that ATF and DOJ played in the death of Brian Terry, but the Attorney General should accept responsibility immediately. It is without question, the right thing to do.”

The President himself is also embroiled in the scandal. Obama claimed early on, for example, that he did not know anything about the gun-trafficking operation until it was exposed by whistleblowers. But he championed and signed legislation – the misnamed “stimulus” bill – which provided tens of millions in funding for the scheme. And the White House was briefed on several occasions.

But as the administration continues its futile efforts to downplay the growing scandal – claiming it was a simple mistake – critics are not buying it. In fact, National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre says it was a deliberate plot to undermine the God-given right to keep and bear arms.

Meanwhile, Holder attacked Congress for not violating the Constitution with even more gun-control legislation. He claimed a “lack of effective enforcement tools” – not the administration’s gun-running program or the “War on Drugs” – was to blame for escalating violence in Mexico.

“We must be careful not to lose sight of the critical problem that this flawed investigation has highlighted: we are losing the battle to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico,” Holder told the Senate last week.

But instead of more gun control, almost 40 U.S. Representatives are calling for Holder to step down. And because he has failed to resign voluntary, the NRA is calling for Obama to fire him immediately.

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*VIDEO* Rep. Issa On ‘Fast & Furious’: We’re Being Gamed By Obama Administration

ATF Official: I told The White House About Fast & Furious

ATF Official: I told The White House About Fast & Furious – Hot Air

What did Barack Obama know about Operation Fast and Furious, and when did he know it? Rep. Darrell Issa’s committee uncovered an explosive nugget of information from the subpoena of ATF e-mail, which went public in yesterday’s hearings.

The ATF manager of the Phoenix office notified a White House official of Operation Fast and Furious as an update on the overall Project Gunrunner effort, connecting the controversial operation directly to the White House for the first time:

At a lengthy hearing on ATF’s controversial gunwalking operation today, a key ATF manager told Congress he discussed the case with a White House National Security staffer as early as September 2010. The communications were between ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office, Bill Newell, and White House National Security Director for North America Kevin O’Reilly. Newell said the two are longtime friends. The content of what Newell shared with O’Reilly is unclear and wasn’t fully explored at the hearing. …

Congressional investigators obtained an email from Newell to O’Reilly in September of last year in which Newell began with the words: “you didn’t get this from me.”

“What does that mean,” one member of Congress asked Newell, ” ‘you didn’t get this from me?’ ”

“Obviously he was a friend of mine,” Newell replied, “and I shouldn’t have been sending that to him.”

Issa asked him why O’Reilly would have been asking about Project Gunrunner, the overall interdictment effort, but that’s fairly clear. As a national-security advisor with responsibility for North America, the cartels in Mexico would be one of the primary threats O’Reilly would watch. O’Reilly told Newell that he planned to travel to Mexico to work on the issue, which would explain the need for an update.

What’s less clear is why Newell informed him with the caveat “you didn’t get this from me”. Why wouldn’t the ATF report on Fast and Furious results to the White House when asked? Was Newell told to avoid linking the operation directly to the White House, or was the ATF worried about the implications of the operation even before it blew up in their faces? Given the hostility towards Congressional oversight already demonstrated at the ATF and Department of Justice during this investigation, this looks like even more evidence that the Obama administration let the ATF run wild, perhaps on purpose.

The more important question will be who O’Reilly told at the White House about the operation. Clearly, O’Reilly wanted the information to prepare for key meetings on a very sensitive subject. It’s hard to believe that O’Reilly would have kept that information to himself. Issa’s committee needs to get O’Reilly into the hearing and on the record, and it may be time to subpoena some White House records, too.

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Obama Cronies Illegally Funding ACORN Affiliate

Illegal Federal Dollars For ACORN – Judicial Watch

ACORN employees have been nailed time and time again for fraudulently registering voters (including Mickey Mouse and the Dallas Cowboys football team) – allegedly for the purpose of sweeping Democrats into office. They were caught on tape advising undercover reporters on how to evade tax, immigration, and child prostitution laws. They were unceremoniously kicked off a U.S. Census Bureau program as a result of a Judicial Watch investigation. And ultimately, the organization was officially cut off from federal funds by Congress and President Obama.

So why is ACORN still receiving taxpayer dollars in defiance of the funding ban? That’s what we’d like to know.

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Judicial Watch investigators recently discovered that the Obama Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a $79,819 grant to the Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA) – an offshoot of ACORN – in apparent violation of the ACORN funding ban passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2009.

Moreover, this grant was provided to the organization less than a year after ACORN/ACHOA was criticized by HUD’s inspector general in two separate investigations for misappropriating funds from federal grants.

You remember the funding ban, right? It was a signature moment for Barack Obama (dubbed the “ACORN President”) when he signed a law on October 1, 2009, known as the Defund ACORN Act, which effectively prohibited the federal government from funding “ACORN and any ACORN-related affiliate.” Following a lawsuit filed by ACORN challenging the law, which passed both branches of Congress by wide margins, the federal courts in New York upheld the constitutionality of the funding ban on August 13, 2010. The Supreme Court last month refused to hear ACORN’s appeal of this funding ban.

A Judicial Watch investigation revealed that on March 1, 2011, HUD announced a $79,819 federal grant to ACHOA to “educate the public and housing providers about their rights and obligations under federal, state, and local fair housing laws.”

The Government Accountability Office issued a controversial and ridiculous advisory opinion in September 2010 stating that ACHOA is not an “allied organization” of ACORN and is therefore not subject to the funding ban. However, the government’s website listing federal expenditures identifies the organization receiving this grant as “ACORN Housing Corporation Inc.” and even lists ACORN’s New Orleans, Louisiana, address. Moreover ACHOA maintains the same board of directors, executive director and offices as its predecessor, ACORN Housing Corporation, Inc.

Make no mistake, ACHOA is ACORN. So this is a clear violation of the funding ban. But it is also an especially irresponsible waste of taxpayer funds considering the documented corruption at ACORN Housing/ACHOA.

For example, according to a September 21, 2010, HUD inspector general report, which notes that ACORN Housing is “now operating as Affordable Housing Centers of America,” the organization misappropriated funds from a $3,252,399 federal grant. The inspector general concluded that ACORN Housing/ACHOA had charged salary expenses to the HUD grant that “were not fully supported.” The organization also continued to pay its counselors even after they were terminated, did not meet federal procurement standards and allegedly destroyed documents to conceal the fraudulent activity.

The inspector general articulated a number of benchmarks that must first be met by ACHOA before the organization could begin receiving any future federal funds, including reimbursing the government for the misappropriated funds.

A separate November 8, 2010, HUD inspector general report documented additional fraudulent activity by ACORN/ACHOA. The ACORN group “inappropriately expended more than $3.2 million from its fiscal years 2004 and 2005 grants for the elimination of lead poisoning in its housing program,” the report concluded. The misappropriation included the use of funds “not identified in its grant application’s detailed budgets,” including “campaign services” and “grant fundraising activities.”

So why is ACORN still on the government dole, instead of the focus of a major federal corruption investigation? Look no further than the top.

In November 2007, then-Senator Obama addressed ACORN and thanked the organization for its work. Obama has denied that he had any involvement with ACORN other than some legal work he did for them in 1995, but this claim rings hollow when considering statements made by Obama in 2007.

In Senator Obama’s own words: “I’ve been fighting alongside Acorn [sic] on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, Acorn [sic] was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.” Barack Obama served as the Illinois executive director of Project Vote in 1992. His campaign paid more than $800,000 to an ACORN organization to help “get out the vote” in his successful primary campaign against then-Sen. Hillary Clinton.

But Obama is not the only one at the White House pitching for ACORN. As reported by The New York Times in 2009, “perhaps no administration official has had more interaction with Acorn [sic] than [Shaun] Donovan”, who is Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The Times notes that Donovan “worked closely” with ACORN’s politically-powerful New York housing affiliate when he was a New York City housing official. And now he’s helped secure a nice chunk of change for ACORN from HUD’s coffers.

ACORN’s ties to Obama and Donavan run deep. So it is no surprise they would continue to dole out tax dollars to an ACORN affiliate with a documented history of fraudulent activity. This is another instance of President Obama’s appointees stubbornly refusing to follow the law by not denying funding to this crooked organization.

And I have to ask the question: Is the Obama gang ensuring that ACORN is around to help them again in 2012?”

By the way, in 2011, HUD provided $40 million in grants to 108 “fair housing” organizations, representing a $13.2 million increase over the 2010 award. According to HUD’s press announcement, the general purpose of these grants is “to educate the public and combat housing and lending discrimination.” This funding of activist groups like ACORN Housing helped lead to our housing crisis. These socialist revolutionaries leveraged your tax dollars to press for government and mortgage policies that gave housing loans to people who couldn’t afford them. That led to the ongoing mortgage crisis.

You can see that the Obama administration is doing three bad things at once – funding a group barred by law from receiving funds, funding a group that has record of fraud, and funding a group and policies that have helped destroy the housing market (and depressed our economy).

Thankfully, the media has picked up on our story (Fox News Channel extensively covered our new ACORN findings). And I know Congress is almost certain to react.

This is another great example of your support helping Judicial Watch uncover and, hopefully, stop government corruption right in its tracks. In the meantime, I’ll be sure keep you updated as to what happens next with this new Obama ACORN scandal.

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