*VIDEO* Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On The IRS Targeting Of Conservative Groups (07/29/15)


Subcommittee On Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights And Federal Courts
Chairman: Ted Cruz
Witnesses: John Koskinen, Cleta Mitchell, Stephen Spaulding, Edward D. Greim, Lawrence Noble, Toby Marie Walker, Diana Aviv, Jenny Beth Martin, Gregory L. Colvin, Jay Sekulow

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……………………….Click on image above to watch video.
………………— Note: hearing begins at about the 18:45 mark —

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Click HERE to visit the official website of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

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Congressman Mark Meadows Introduces Resolution To Oust John Boehner As Speaker

GOP Resolution Introduced Seeking To Oust Boehner – Weasel Zippers

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It ain’t over until the orange man cries.

Via The Hill

Conservative Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) on Tuesday introduced a resolution to oust Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) from his leadership post, GOP aides said.

Read the resolution:

Meadows Hres

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Related video:

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New Emails Provide Smoking-Gun Evidence Of The Coordinated Targeting Of Conservatives And Cover-Up By Obama IRS

Smoking Gun: New Emails Show Coordinated Targeting Of Conservative Groups And Cover-Up By Obama IRS – Dateway Pundit

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The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal involved:

* Hundreds of 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
* 10% of Tea Party donors were audited by the IRS
* And… 100% of the 501(c)(4) Groups Audited by IRS Were Conservative

IRS Commissioner John Koskinentestified before the House Oversight and Government Reform on March 26, 2014. Koskinen told Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) during the hearing that Lois Lerner’s emails were archived and it would take a long time to retrieve them.

In June 2014 the IRS told Congress Lois Lerner’s emails were lost in a computer crash.

In April the Inspector General notified the Senate Finance Committee that they have recovered thousands of Lois Lerner emails.

In June 2015 the Obama IRS erased 422 computer backup tapes related to the Tea Party scandal.

Earlier this month it was reported the Obama IRS plotted how they could prosecute conservative activist groups.

Now there’s a Smoking Gun –

Newly discovered emails prove the Obama IRS was targeting conservative groups and harassing individuals.

There is evidence of a cover-up and investigators have “Smoking Gun” proof.

The Real Story reported:

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Judicial Watch reported:

Judicial Watch released 906 pages of newly recovered Lois Lerner emails from the IRS that are believed to recently have been recovered by the IRS’ internal watchdog – the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The IRS released the emails under a court order by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. The new documents show that Lois Lerner and other top officials in the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including soon-to-be Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller, closely monitored and approved the controversial handling of tax-exempt applications by Tea Party organizations. The documents also show that at least one group received an inquiry from the IRS in order to buy time and keep the organization from contacting Congress.

At July 1, 2015, status conference, Judge Sullivan ordered the IRS to begin producing, every week, the nearly 1,800 newly recovered Lois Lerner emails responsive to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Despite the court order, the IRS did not produce any Lois Lerner emails until July 15. The IRS also failed to provide Judicial Watch a status report of the Lois Lerner email production issues, as also ordered by Judge Sullivan. Last week, Judge Sullivan ordered sua sponte the parties to appear for a status hearing for tomorrow (July 29) shortly after Judicial Watch raised concerns about the IRS’ failure to comply with his orders to release the newly discovered Lerner emails and status updates on its production of previously “missing” documents.

The developments come in Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit seeking documents about the Obama IRS’ targeting and harassment of Tea Party and conservative opponents of President Obama (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)). Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the IRS first to admit that Lerner’s emails were supposedly missing and, then, that the emails were on IRS’ back-up systems.

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Democrat Congressman Charged With Racketeering Conspiracy, Bribery And Wire Fraud In 29-Count Indictment

Rep. Chaka Fattah Charged In 29-Count Indictment – Roll Call

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Prosecutors charged Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., Wednesday in a 29-count indictment with racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of a probe into the 11-term congressman launched by the FBI and IRS in March 2013.

Fattah’s office confirmed he has agreed to give up his leadership post on the Appropriations Committee, where he is the top Democrat overseeing criminal justice and science spending. He will be replaced by Mike Honda, D-Calif., who is currently the subject of an ethics probe.

Fattah has declared his innocence and his plans to run for reelection.

Fattah’s congressional district director, 59-year-old Bonnie Bowser of Philadelphia, and former congressional staffer Karen Nicholas, 57, plus two other individuals were also charged for their alleged involvement in several schemes federal investigators say were intended to further their political and financial interests by misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal, charitable and campaign funds. The indictment alleges illegal activity dating back to Fattah’s failed 2007 campaign to serve as mayor of Philadelphia, as well as false congressional campaign filings.

During an 11 a.m. news conference in Pennsylvania, officials declined to go into specifics about the penalties Fattah, 58, could face. His D.C. office did not immediately respond to requests for comment, with the House in session and headed toward final votes before the August recess. Fattah has not been arrested, and the office did not say whether Bowser would stay in her position.

“Public corruption takes a particularly heavy toll on our democracy because it undermines people’s basic belief that our elected leaders are committed to serving the public interest, not to lining their own pockets,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell.

The indictment alleges that in connection with his failed mayoral bid, Fattah and his associates borrowed $1 million from a wealthy supporter and disguised the funds as a loan to a consulting company, then created sham contracts and made false accounting records, tax returns and campaign finance disclosure statements.

In addition, the indictment alleges that after his defeat in the mayoral election, Fattah sought to extinguish approximately $130,000 in campaign debt owed to a political consultant by agreeing to arrange for the award of federal grant funds to the consultant. According to the allegations in the indictment, Fattah directed the consultant to apply for a $15 million grant, which he did not ultimately receive, on behalf of a then non-existent nonprofit entity. In exchange for Fattah’s efforts to arrange the award of the funds to the nonprofit, the consultant allegedly agreed to forgive the debt owed by the campaign.

The indictment further alleges that Fattah misappropriated funds from his mayoral and congressional campaigns to repay approximately $23,000 of his son’s student loan debt.

In another alleged scheme, beginning in 2008, Fattah communicated with individuals in the legislative and executive branches in an effort to secure for 69-year-old lobbyist Herbert Vederman an ambassadorship or an appointment to the U.S. Trade Commission in exchange for an $18,000 bribe.

Vederman, of Palm Beach, Fla., was also charged in the indictment.

Finally, the indictment alleges that Nicholas obtained $50,000 in federal grant funds that she claimed would be used by EAA to support a conference on higher education. The conference never took place. Instead, Nicholas used the grant funds to pay $20,000 to a political consultant and $10,000 to her attorney, and wrote several checks to herself from EAA’s operating account.

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Intel Assessment: Obama Regime’s Incompetent Response To Cyber Attacks Encouraging More Of Them

Intel Assessment: Weak Response To Breaches Will Lead To More Cyber Attacks – Washington Free beacon

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The United States will continue to suffer increasingly damaging cyber attacks against both government and private sector networks as long as there is no significant response, according to a recent U.S. intelligence community assessment.

Disclosure of the intelligence assessment, an analytical consensus of 16 U.S. spy agencies, comes as the Obama administration is debating how to respond to a major cyber attack against the Office of Personnel Management. Sensitive records on 22.1 million federal workers, including millions cleared for access to secrets, were stolen by hackers linked to China’s government.

U.S. officials familiar with the classified cyber assessment discussed its central conclusion but did not provide details.

Spokesmen for the White House and office of the director of national intelligence declined to comment.

Recent comments by President Obama and senior military and security officials, however, reflect the intelligence assessment.

Obama said during a summit in Germany June 8 that he would not disclose who conducted the OPM hack. But he said such attacks would continue.

“We have known for a long time that there are significant vulnerabilities and that these vulnerabilities are gonna accelerate as time goes by, both in systems within government and within the private sector,” the president said.

Last week, Adm. Mike Rogers, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, said the increase in state-sponsored cyber attacks is partly the result of a perception that “there’s not a significant price to pay” for such attacks.

Privately, administration officials said the assessment appears to be an indirect criticism of the administration’s approach to cyber attacks that has emphasized diplomatic and law enforcement measures instead of counter-cyber attacks.

“The administration is expecting more attacks because they’re unwilling to do anything,” said one official. “They’re preparing for more attacks because we’re failing to deter and defend against them.”

Intelligence and cyber security experts agreed with the assessment that weak U.S. responses are encouraging more cyber attacks.

“Until we redefine warfare in the age of information, we will continue to be viciously and dangerously attacked with no consequences for those attackers,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, a former Defense Intelligence Agency director.

“The extraordinary intellectual theft ongoing across the U.S.’s cyber critical infrastructure has the potential to shut down massive components of our nation’s capabilities, such as health care, energy and communications systems. This alone should scare the heck out of everyone.”

James Lewis, a cyber security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, agreed. Lewis said the defensive approach that emphasizes closing vulnerabilities to cyber attacks is not working.

“Unless we punch back, we will continue to get hit,” Lewis said.

Lewis says that conducting retaliatory cyber strikes without starting a war is difficult but not impossible.

“There are a lot of ways to do this – leaking some party leader’s bank account could be a good start,” Lewis said. “Many people think a cyber response is the best way to signal where the lines are the other side should not cross.”

“We’re all coming to the same place – that a defensive orientation doesn’t work,” he added.

Rogers, the Cyber Command chief who has stated in the past that he favors more aggressive U.S. responses, acknowledged that the U.S. response to the OPM hack has been muted compared to the government’s highly-public response to North Korea’s damaging cyber attack in November against Sony Pictures Entertainment. The Sony hack was a failed bid by the North Koreans to derail the release of a comedy film critical of dictator Kim Jong Un.

Major incidents in recent months include the Sony attack; cyber attacks against the health care provider Anthem that compromised the records of some 80 million people; attacks against State Department and White House networks from suspected Russian government-linked hackers; the OPM hacking; and an Iranian-backed cyber attack against the Sands casino in Las Vegas.

Asked about the increase in state-sponsored attacks, Rogers said during a security conference in Colorado that one factor has been a lack of response.

Rogers earlier in congressional testimony has suggested a more muscular cyber policy that would include demonstrations and threats of retaliatory cyber attacks against hackers in a bid to create deterrence similar to the Cold War-era strategic nuclear deterrence.

In addition to more capable hackers, “you’ve got a perception, I believe, that to date there is little price to pay for engaging in some pretty aggressive behaviors,” Rogers aid.

“Whether it’s stealing intellectual property; whether it’s getting in and destroying things as we saw in the Sony attack; whether it’s going after large masses of data – OPM being the most recent but go back to the summer of ’14 and we saw a successful penetration of a large health insurance company and the extraction of most of the medical records and personal data information that they had.”

Nation states are only one part of the threat. Criminal groups also are conducting large-scale cyber attacks, Rogers said.

In November, Rogers said he argued for going public in naming North Korea’s communist regime for the Sony hack and having the president make a public statement that Pyongyang would pay a price.

Rogers said some officials in the administration favored a less public response to the Sony case.

“So one of my concerns was this time it was a movie,” Rogers said. “What if next time a nation state, a group, an individual, an actor decides I don’t like the U.S. policy, I don’t like a U.S. product, I don’t agree with this particular position taken by a company, or taken by an individual. If we start down this road, this is not a good one for us as a nation.”

Rogers said he argued strongly that “we cannot pretend that this did not happen,” and that the attack had to be linked to North Korea directly.

“My concern was if we do nothing, then one of the potential unintended consequences of this could be does this send a signal to other nation states, other groups, other actors that this kind of behavior [is okay] and that you can do this without generating any kind of response,” Rogers said.

On not naming the Chinese for the OPM hack, Rogers appears to have lost out during the administration’s debate on naming the Chinese.

“OPM is an ongoing issue,” Rogers said, adding that he would not discuss the specifics of internal discussions.

“But I would acknowledge, hey, to date the response to OPM, there’s a thought process and I’m the first to acknowledge to date we have to take a different approach.”

Asked if he agreed with doing nothing about the OPM response, Rogers suggested some action might be forthcoming.

“Just because you’re not reading something in the media does not mean that there’s not things ongoing,” he said. “So I would argue, let’s step back and see how this plays out a little bit.”

He defended the more public U.S. response to the Sony hack that included limited sanctions against North Korean agencies and officials, by noting that to date no similar cyber attacks by Pyongyang have been conducted.

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Leftist Incompetence Update: Yet Another Obamacare Health Co-Op Ends In Utter Failure

Another Obamacare Health Co-Op Ends In Failure – Daily Caller

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Bleeding cash, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) announced Friday that Louisiana’s Obamacare health insurance co-op will be closing its doors by the end of 2015.

It will be the second collapse of an Obamacare health care co-op this year and the third since the Obama administration rolled them out in 2012 as a competitor to commercial health insurance companies.

From the beginning, the Louisiana co-op was fraught with high-paid consultants who were not even from Louisiana, but Georgia. It also suffered from an apparent conflict of interest. George Cromer, its CEO, simultaneously served the Louisiana House of Representatives as chairman of that legislative body’s insurance committee.

Roughly 18 months into its existence, in September 2012, the Louisiana co-op received $66 million from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. By 2014, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported that the co-op had burned through half of its cash and suffered a net operating loss of $23 million.

The co-op had only enrolled 17,000 paid subscribers out of a total state population of 4.6 million, according to state census data.

AM Best, the insurance rating company, reported in the third quarter of 2014 that the Louisiana co-op’s indebtedness was 198 percent, among the worst performing Obamacare nonprofits in the nation.

“The onerous burdens of Obamacare have shocked health insurance markets and caused instability in pricing and predictability, and as a result, we’ve seen premiums spike upward,” Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon wrote in a press statement July 24 when he announced closure plans for the co-op.

“Start-ups in insurance, especially health insurance, are always a tough row to hoe. Obamacare has made that even more difficult,” the commissioner noted in a press release.

The LDI’s Office of Financial Solvency will be examining the financial issues that led to its decision to close, and the commissioner has said that the department is “on-site at the co-op.”

The Louisiana Health co-op began with controversy over Terry Shilling, its first CEO. Shilling arranged a lavish contract with his own Atlanta-based consulting firm, Beam Partners, LLC, an arrangement approved by federal Obamacare CMS officials.

Federal officials also approved Shilling as original founder and “interim CEO” for the co-op, even though in 1998, the Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned him for insider trading as a health executive. Shilling’s consulting firm received more than $3 million from the co-op in 2013 for “health plan development,” according to its IRS Form 990 filing.

Louisiana insurance documents obtained by the Washington Examiner in August 2013 showed that Beam would receive a separate $4 million contract from the start-up co-op. On top of the contract, the Atlanta firm would receive a 20 percent “performance fee,” according to the documents. Finally, Beam additionally reaped a “benefit payment services” that began at $66,667 per month in 2013, culminating in $72,917 in 2016, according to Louisiana co-op insurance filing documents.

Separate from the preferential contract with Shilling, the co-op represented a potential political conflict of interest. After Shilling’s relationship with the co-op went public, the Atlanta businessman stepped down as interim CEO, to be replaced by Louisiana Rep. George Cromer.

Cromer, a Republican, also was the chairman of the Louisiana House committee on health insurance. He did not step down from the position after assuming the co-op post.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Cromer’s office, but has yet to receive a response.

The Louisiana co-op is not the first to fold.

In February, the Iowa Insurance Department assumed receivership and closed the doors of Co-Opportunity Health, an Obamacare co-op that served more than 100,000 customers in Iowa and Nebraska. Co-Opportunity had a loss ratio of 140, which meant that for every dollar it received in premiums, it had to pay out $1.40 in benefits.

The first failure occurred in 2013, when the Vermont Insurance Commissioner refused to grant a license to a new Obamacare health co-op.

The Commissioner refused to license the co-op because the president had steered as much as $500,000 of the co-op’s money to his own firm. CMS had approved the loan to the Vermont co-op despite the conflict of interest.

She also said the co-op’s math was inadequate and failed to meet the state’s financial standards.

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Obamacare: Now With 34% Fewer Providers!

Report: Obamacare Plans Have 34% Fewer Providers – Weasel Zippers

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But you can keep your doctor!

Via Newsmax:

Thirty-four percent fewer healthcare providers are available to Obamacare patients – backing up “anecdotal reports that exchange networks contain fewer providers than traditional commercial plans,” a new report says.

According to an analysis by Avalere Health, the Washington-based advisory firm, the Obamacare networks offer an average of 42 percent fewer heart and cancer doctors – along with 24 percent fewer hospitals and 32 percent fewer primary care physicians for patients to choose from.

But most importantly, the Affordable Care Act’s restrictions on out-of-pocket costs by patients do not apply to healthcare services outside the plan’s network.

Keep reading

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