It’s Earth Day and millions of people across the world are celebrating with events about global warming. President Obama will travel to Florida via fossil fuel powered Air Force One to give a speech in the Everglades and last weekend people in Washington D.C. celebrated early by trashing the National Mall.
But like many far-left movements, Earth Day has a dark past and was co-founded by a guy who killed and composted his girlfriend.
Ira Einhorn was on stage hosting the first Earth Day event at the Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on April 22, 1970. Seven years later, police raided his closet and found the “composted” body of his ex-girlfriend inside a trunk.
A self-proclaimed environmental activist, Einhorn made a name for himself among ecological groups during the 1960s and ’70s by taking on the role of a tie-dye-wearing ecological guru and Philadelphia’s head hippie. With his long beard and gap-toothed smile, Einhorn – who nicknamed himself “Unicorn” because his German-Jewish last name translates to “one horn” – advocated flower power, peace and free love to his fellow students at the University of Pennsylvania. He also claimed to have helped found Earth Day.
Protecting the environment is a laudable goal, so long as eco-fascism is left out of it. Composting your girlfriend however, is not.
If you tried to contact the IRS with a question about your taxes this year, chances are you didn’t get a response. The IRS estimated that it would only answer 17 million of the 49 million calls received this filing season. Taxpayers lucky enough to have the IRS answer their calls waited an average of 34.4 minutes for assistance – nearly double the wait time last year (18.7 minutes).
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has blamed the IRS’s “abysmal” customer service on congressional budget cuts – funding is down $1.2 billion from its 2010 peak – but a new congressional report points the finger back at the IRS. While congressional funding for the IRS remained flat from 2014 to 2015, the IRS diverted $134 million away from customer service to other activities.
In addition to the $11 billion appropriated by Congress, the IRS takes in more than $400 million in user fees and may allocate that money as it sees fit. In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million in user fees to its customer service budget, but allocated just $49 million in 2015 – a 76 percent cut.
Commissioner Koskinen will appear before the House Ways and Means Committee this morning, one week after the federal tax filing deadline, and he can expect to be asked why the IRS cut its own customer service budget and continues to spend money on other questionable activities.
The report notes that Koskinen reinstated bonuses weeks after his appointment, has allowed IRS employees to spend roughly 500,000 work hours on union activities, and failed to collect delinquent taxes owed by federal employees. The tax agency has also been strained by Obamacare. According to the report, the IRS has spent “over $1.2 billion on the President’s health care law to date, with a planned expenditure this year of an additional $500 million.”
The IRS’s total annual $11 billion budget is dwarfed by the amount of improper tax payments it makes each year. According to the report, the IRS paid out $17.7 billion in improper Earned Income Tax Credit payments (which are supposed to help poor and low-income individuals) and an additional $6 to $7 billion in improper child tax credit payments.
Hillary Rodham Clinton used her clout as secretary of state to do favors for foreign donors who gave millions to her family foundation – and who paid millions more to her husband, Bill, in speaking fees, a new book charges.
Records show that of the $105 million the former president raked in from speeches over 12 years, about half came during his wife’s four-year tenure at the State Department.
The claims in “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” come just a week after she launched her presidential campaign.
They raise questions about shady foreign money flowing into the Clinton Foundation – and what actions Hillary took in her official capacity in exchange for the cash.
“During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions,” writes author Peter Schweizer, according to The New York Times, which first reported the story.
“Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”
Schweizer – a former speech-writing consultant for President George W. Bush – said he found a clear “pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable US policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds.”
One example of an alleged quid pro quo cited by the Times and other sources involved the State Department’s backing of a free-trade agreement with Colombia that benefited a company founded by a big donor to the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary opposed the trade deal when running for president in 2008 because of the South American country’s poor record on workers’ rights.
But then the company, Canadian-based Pacific Rubiales, and its founder, Clinton Foundation board member Frank Giustra, donated “millions” to the foundation, The International Business Times reported.
In 2010, the State Department under Hillary lauded Colombia’s human rights record, allowing Giustra’s company to reap huge profits.
The book also examines lucrative development contracts awarded to foundation donors following the devastating Haitian earthquake in 2010. And it reports that Hillary’s brother, Tony Rodham, sat on the board of a small North Carolina mining company that in 2012 got one of only two coveted “gold exploitation permits” from the government of Haiti – the first issued in more than 50 years, according to the website Breitbart.
Bill Clinton himself was paid $1 million by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline as the State Department was considering the project, Schweizer charges.
Records show that Bill’s earnings from appearance fees – both foreign and domestic – spiked at $17 million in 2012, Hillary’s last year at State.
During Hillary’s four-year stint as secretary of state, the ex-president earned about $48 million of a $105 million speaking haul amassed between 2001 and 2013.
More than half of the $48 million was paid by companies in China, Japan, Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands, among others.
The author writes that “of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state.”
Bill Clinton is believed to be the richest living ex-president and one of the 10 wealthiest ever.
Most estimates put the power couple’s combined net worth at $100 million to $200 million.
Some of the fees were paid at the Clintons’ request to their foundation – netting domestic donors a fat tax break. But most went directly to Bill, and the fees make up the family’s main source of income, The Washington Post reported.
Following Hillary’s decision to run for president, the foundation itself announced last week it would accept donations only from Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany and Norway.
The 186-page book will go on sale May 5, but Hillary wasted no time dismissing it.
“We’re back into the political season and, therefore, we will be subjected to all kinds of distraction and attacks and I’m ready for that. I know that that comes, unfortunately, with the territory,” she said Monday in Keene, NH.
“It is, I think, worth noting that the Republicans seem to only be talking about me. I don’t know what they’d talk about if I wasn’t in the race, but I am in the race and hopefully we’ll get on to the issues,” she added.
Allison Moore, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, responded by bringing up Hillary’s use of a private email account for official business and her deletion of thousands of emails.
As refugees flood the Mediterranean, Europe is in a crisis. But the issue is not about how many lifeboats to send; it’s the failed state of Libya. Why isn’t Hillary Clinton, the architect of U.S. Libya policy, answering questions?
The European Union is being hit with a refugee crisis of unprecedented proportions as another boat loaded with emigres capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday. Nearly all of its 900 passengers drowned in what’s billed as the worst maritime disaster in the history of the Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean, now known as “a cemetery without graves,” will be crossed by some 500,000 refugees this year, up from about 220,000 last year.
At the same time, a second round of beheadings of Christians by Islamic State terrorists on Libya’s beaches over the weekend drives the point home: Terrorists are on the rise, and a strong base of their operations is in Libya, a failed state that was taken over by a vile menagerie of pirates, slavers and smugglers in the rubble of the toppled Gadhafi regime.
Who’s responsible here? None other than Hillary Clinton, who served as President Obama’s secretary of state during the overthrow of the longtime dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
And that raises again the valid questions on what really happened in Libya.
At that time, the U.S. was partnering with Europe, chiefly France, in a supposedly easy operation to get rid of the annoying dictator and then watch what the alliance thought would be the flourishing of democracy. It was called “leading from behind.”
The U.S. withdrew support from Gadhafi – who, by the way, had voluntarily renounced his nuclear program in the interest of preserving himself – only to be waylaid by mobs and killed.
Instead of democracy, what flourished was barbarism with absolutely no state emerging from what had been a largely tribal society.
The brazen murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012, showed what was ahead for the country instead.
Who let that happen? And who was it who allowed their killers to get away with it with no fear of being hunted down and brought to justice? One suspect sipped on a strawberry frappe in a fancy hotel while being interviewed by the New York Times. He was at ease because he knew nobody was looking for him.
Weapons go unguarded and fall into the hands of terrorists. Islamic radicals destroy the beautiful country of Mali, home to ancient cultural treasures. An even more menacing element takes advantage of the U.S. failure to support Egypt by attacking the country on its western flank, beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians last month, and inserting an explicit threat to Rome with it. They repeated the barbarism over the weekend with another group of Christians.
A disaster this complete is the result of foreign policy incompetence on an untold scale, and demands answers from the policymakers behind it.
But instead of calling on Clinton to answer questions, the press gives her a pass, and the Obama administration watched approvingly as she destroyed a gigantic cache of emails that might have shed light on what kind of trouble she was opening the country to during her service as secretary of state.
It’s an outrage, and the press and public have every right to expect answers from her.
Obama only mentions Christians to lecture them, rather than defend them from persecution.
What do you call it when 12 men are drowned at sea for praying to Jesus?
Answer: Religious persecution.
Yet, when a throng of Muslims threw a dozen Christians overboard a migrant ship traveling from Libya to Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi missed the opportunity to label it as such. Standing next to President Obama at their joint news conference Friday, Renzi dismissed it as a one-off event and said, “The problem is not a problem of (a) clash of religions.”
While the prime minister plunged his head into the sand, Italian authorities arrested and charged the Muslim migrants with “multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate,” according to the BBC.
As Renzi was questioned about the incident, Obama was mute on the killings. He failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith. If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy threw 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested? When three North Carolina Muslims were gunned down by a virulent atheist, Obama rightly spoke out against the horrifying killings. But he just can’t seem to find any passion for the mass persecution of Middle Eastern Christians or the eradication of Christianity from its birthplace.
Religious persecution of Christians is rampant worldwide, as Pew has noted, but nowhere is it more prevalent than in the Middle East and Northern Africa, where followers of Jesus are the targets of religious cleansing. Pope Francis has repeatedly decried the persecution and begged the world for help, but it has had little impact. Western leaders – including Obama – will be remembered for their near silence as this human rights tragedy unfolded. The president’s mumblings about the atrocities visited upon Christians (usually extracted after public outcry over his silence) are few and far between. And it will be hard to forget his lecturing of Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast about the centuries-old Crusades while Middle Eastern Christians were at that moment being harassed, driven from their homes, tortured and murdered for their faith.
A week and a half after Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast speech, 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded for being “people of the cross.” Seven of the victims were former students of my friend and hero “Mama” Maggie Gobran, known as the “Mother Theresa of Cairo” for her work with the poorest of the poor. She told me these dear men grew up in rural Upper Egypt and had gone to Libya seeking work to support their families. They died with dignity as they called out to their God, while the cowardly murderers masked their faces.
Rather than hectoring Christians about their ancestors’ misdeeds, Obama should honor these men and the countless Middle Eastern Christians persecuted before them.
Monday, there was more horrifying news: ISIL terrorists released a video purporting to show more religiously motivated killing. According to CNN, before beheading and shooting two groups of Christians in Libya, a speaker said, “The Islamic State has offered the Christian community (the opportunity to convert to Islam or pay a tax for being Christian) many times and set a deadline for this, but the Christians never cooperated.”
So they kill them.
Indeed, let’s talk more about the Crusades.