Rich liberals don’t like it when they’re asked to pay their “fair share.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s eat-the-rich policies aren’t sitting to well with the city’s wealthy residents. According to Michael Goodman, a number of them are getting ready to flee the Big Apple for greener pastures, like Florida, where they won’t be treated like criminals.
Maybe they shouldn’t have voted for the commie in the first place. De Blasio didn’t exactly keep his class warfare plans a secret. You reap what you sow kids.
Beyond taxes, the mayor’s open hostility is a factor. His insulting treatment of former Mayor Bloomberg at the inauguration remains a cloud over him. As one affluent woman, a self-described liberal, told me, “De Blasio hates me, so I hate him.” She doesn’t personally know him, but draws her conclusion from his words and deeds.
Liberals want the government to take other people’s money, not their money.
In a short, acrimonious hearing today (technically a continuation of the hearing in which she previously took the 5th amendment when asked about IRS targeting of prospective conservative 501c(4) organizations), Chairman Darrell Issa asked Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations division of the IRS several (7? 9?) questions regarding her knowledge. She asserted her 5th amendment right against self incrimination to each question. Issa adjourned the committee, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) MD, flew into a rage, and gave a speech into dead microphones about how unfair it all was.
But wait, the president, who would never lie, said there is no corruption, no wrong doing at all. So how would Lerner “incriminate” herself by testifying? Things that make you go HHHHHH indeed!
Elijah Cummings of course pulled his “outrageously outraged” act, but we know the truth. Fritz lays that out
There’s really no doubt left that the IRS, and several other agencies, including EPA, Treasury and ATF have become the unofficial enforcement arm of the democratic party, in which the agencies listen to the not-so-hidden dog whistles of their democratic masters, and follow their own partisan agenda with or without direct orders to do so.
Go check out the timeline as well. I have just one question. Are there no decent democrats left? Is there not one, just one, that will stand up to such thuggery?
When the FBI finally fires up its criminal investigation of the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, there is one person the special agent in charge better be sure to interview – former White House Counsel Robert Bauer. The FBI may discover the whole IRS mess leads through the land of campaign finance “reform” and an obsession with speech regulation, an obsession shared by Bauer.
Any criminal investigation identifies for further scrutiny those with motive, opportunity, and means, and Bauer deserves no quarter from FBI investigators on those three counts.
Without any doubt, crimes were committed by IRS employees, not the least of which was the fact that IRS employees disclosed confidential information from IRS forms to the political enemies of the groups seeking tax-exempt status.
For example, Cindy Thomas, the Cincinnati unit manager for exempt organizations at the IRS, illegally released the tax applications of nine separate conservative organizations to the left-wing group ProPublica. The IRS claims that Thomas’ illegal release of private tax information was an “accident,” but the excuse is absurd.
Thomas wasn’t the only IRS employee leaking the tax information of conservative groups to their enemies. Pro-marriage groups found their confidential information in the hands of gay marriage advocacy organizations.
The FBI can start by finding out whether Thomas and her fellow IRS travelers in fact released the private information. If the FBI says Thomas cannot be prosecuted because she claims it was an accident, then Congress needs to step in and impose mandatory minimum prison sentences for any IRS employee that releases private information, accidental or not.
The bigger question the FBI must get to the bottom of is who hatched the policy of targeting Tea Party groups that led to these crimes? For that they should turn back to Robert Bauer.
Robert Bauer had the motive to direct IRS policy against Tea Party groups. He is a longtime opponent of First Amendment freedoms and an advocate of government-speech regulation. He also can’t stand the work the Tea Party is conducting to monitor and eradicate voter fraud, work the Republican Party and national campaigns have utterly failed to perform.
During the 2008 election, while representing the Obama campaign, Bauer sent a threatening letter to the Justice Department demanding criminal investigations of people who had the audacity to speak about voter fraud. Bauer even singled out Sarah Palin in the letter. Anyone who “developed or disseminated” information about voter fraud, to Bauer, deserved the heavy boot of a criminal investigation. Read the letter; it reveals a nasty, thuggish, and lawless attitude toward political opposition.
To Bauer, those merely speaking about voter fraud were worthy of criminal investigation. Sound familiar?
Hindsight reveals why Bauer was so agitated. Two Obama campaign staffers, Amy Little and Yolanda Hippensteele, later pleaded guilty to voter fraud. We also know, courtesy of John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky, that a Minnesota election for U.S. Senate was decided by voter fraud in 2008. And who can forget Melowese Richardson, the Obama activist and poll official in Ohio who said on camera that she voted multiple times for President Obama in 2008? I could go on and on with multiple examples of voter fraud from 2008 where candidate Obama was the beneficiary.
No wonder Bauer was so anxious back in 2008 to shut everyone up.
Fast forward to 2012. Again, Mr. Bauer was up to his old tricks in his second stint as Obama campaign counsel, this time targeting Tea Party groups fighting for election integrity. Bauer and his campaign hench-lawyers called state election officials, seeking to unleash state criminal investigations of Tea Party groups working for election integrity. I have spoken with state election officials in at least three states which describe Obama campaign efforts to prompt state officials to target Tea Party groups.
I’m happy to share with the FBI special agents the names of those states if Mr. Bauer won’t.
Bauer even published this memo, specifically targeting True the Vote with outright lies so egregious he should be ashamed of himself.
After the Obama campaign voter fraud of 2008, in 2012 Bauer was anxious to remove election integrity groups from the polls as observers. If the IRS couldn’t slow the Tea Party watchdogs down, Bauer threatened them in other ways.
If the FBI special agents interview Mr. Bauer, it won’t be hard to conclude he had the motive to launch the Tea Party shakedown.
President Obama’s campaign counsel certainly had the motive to target the Tea Party, but did Bauer have the means as campaign counsel? Remember, Bauer served as White House counsel from November 2009 to June 2011, right during the time this IRS shakedown was hatched.
Anybody who has worked in the White House will tell you that the White House counsel enjoys a position of power like few others. They can make things happen with a phone call. One former West Wing staffer told me that “any department’s staff who received directions from Bauer would think they were getting directions from the president. The White House counsel has the power to make policy with a phone call.”
Something important happened two months after Bauer became White House counsel – the Supreme Court decided Citizens United vs. FEC, a decision that caused the left to go batty. They feared the decision might cost them the White House. President Obama boorishly (and inaccurately) addressed the decision in the 2010 State of the Union.
The FBI special agents should ask Bauer some simple questions: With whom did you speak at the IRS about conservative and Tea Party groups post-Citizens United? Did you direct anyone on your staff to do the same? Did you hear about anyone speaking with the IRS about Tea Party groups? Who hatched the IRS harassment, which started on your watch? Did you meet with Doug Shulman any of the 157 times he visited the White House, and did you discuss exempt status of conservative groups?
The FBI agents might ask Bauer why a parade of Citizens United-obsessed speech-regulation zealots visited the West Wing just before the Tea Party shakedown went into effect.
Tova Wang, of the leftist Soros-funded group Demos, visited the White House and met with Bauer’s staff on June 2, 2010. In fact she hovered around the White House on multiple occasions during the critical time period the IRS policy was being crafted.
Perhaps she was there for the Easter Egg roll. Perhaps not. Either way, the FBI can ask.
Notorious speech-regulation advocate Richard Hasen also visited the White House and met with White House Counsel Robert Bauer on June 24, 2010. (See this absurd screed at Slate saying the post-Citizens United world is “worse than Watergate.” Freedom just rubs some people the wrong way.)
Perhaps Hasen was at the White House with Bauer to watch the longest match in Wimbledon history which occurred that day.
Perhaps not, especially since he previously met with Nicholas Colvin in the White House Counsel’s office on June 21 and 23. Again, the FBI can find out if they ask.
Bauer or his staff met with a number of other ivory tower academics and activists interested in controlling free political speech through the spring of 2010. These also include the noisy reformer Meredith McGehee.
We don’t yet know who engineered the illegal, criminal, and disgusting IRS shakedown of Tea Party and conservative groups. But one thing is certain: Robert Bauer had the motive, the opportunity, and the means to do it. The good folks at the FBI are now busy preparing names of people to interview. They better not leave Mr. Bauer off the list, or his stream of visitors.
The parties better not coordinate stories ahead of time. These days, I hear the Justice Department has adopted an aggressive approach to email and phone records, at least for Fox News.
Barack Obama told Bill O’Reilly there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the IRS targeting scandal.
Then explain this…
The attorney for Lois Lerner will not testify next week in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform without immunity or a court order.
FOX News reported:
The attorney for Lois Lerner, a central figure in the IRS scandal, said Wednesday his client will not comply with a request to return to Capitol Hill next week to testify.
Attorney William Taylor said Lerner, who resigned last year as the agency’s tax-exempt organizations chief, will return only if compelled by a federal court or if given immunity for her testimony.
Taylor stated his position in a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He was responding to a letter Tuesday from Issa saying, in part, that Lerner’s testimony remains “critical to the committee’s investigation.”
The committee continues to investigate the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations trying to get tax-exempt status.
Issa and Lerner’s attorneys continue to argue about whether she is protected under the Fifth Amendment from having to testify.
Last year, Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment right during her first-and-only appearance before the committee, but only after she professed her innocence during an opening statement.
“We understand that the committee voted she had waived her rights,” Taylor wrote Issa. “We continue to respectfully disagree.”
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy Discusses Bill To Stop IRS Targeting Of Political Groups On Greta Van Susteren’s ‘On the Record’ Program
Complete House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Hearing On IRS Targeting Of Conservative Groups – 02/26/14
A comprehensive tax-reform plan House Republicans will unveil this morning takes dead aim at what Republicans perceive to be the IRS’s persistent abuse of its authority. According to Republican aides familiar with the plan, it will curb the power of the nation’s tax-collecting agency, something Republicans have attempted to do since the agency admitted to improperly singling out conservative non-profit groups last May.
The legislation, authored by Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.), introduces reforms that directly address the circumstances that led to last year’s scandal. The specter of Lois Lerner looms large in the minds of many Republicans, and the plan mandates the termination of any IRS employee found to have taken official action for political purposes. The 1988 bill that restructured and reformed the IRS spells out ten actions for which the IRS commissioner must terminate an agency employee after an “administrative or judicial determination” that the employee has committed the prohibited action – among them, providing a false statement under oath on a matter involving a taxpayer and violating the rights of a taxpayer. Today’s bill would add the commission of politically motivated acts to the list.
The plan would also require the IRS to modify its interpretation of a critical provision of the Internal Revenue Code that has been used to protect the privacy of those accused of leaking confidential taxpayer records and to deny information to the victims of IRS abuse.
Under the proposed reforms, the provision, Internal Revenue Code section 6103, would require the government to disclose to victims both the status of an investigation as well as its result, including the identity of the perpetrator.
As currently interpreted, section 6103 prohibits congressional committees or inspectors general from identifying a government employee who has leaked confidential taxpayer information. It even prohibits inspectors general from confirming or denying whether they have conducted an investigation. Disclosing tax returns to the public is a felony, but the results of investigations conducted by congressional committees or inspectors general are considered the confidential tax information of the perpetrator and so, in an ironic twist, perpetrators are currently protected by the very law they violated.
As Republicans, including Camp, have investigated the IRS targeting scandal, they have run head first into the restrictive nature of the 6103 provisions. “The law, intended to protect taxpayers, is being used as a shield for those who perpetrate this wrongdoing,” Camp told National Review Online in October.
The National Organization for Marriage, a conservative organization that had its donor list leaked by the IRS, has filed suit against the agency after it was unable to get answers from the government. Camp’s Ways and Means Committee, which investigated the leak, was prohibited from releasing the findings of its investigation, which concluded in October. In court, according to NOM’s attorneys, the IRS has admitted to disclosing the document but maintains that the disclosure was “inadvertent.” The case is in discovery phase and a trial is expected in April or May.
Camp and his Republican colleagues are also tackling the IRS’s proposed regulations for social-welfare groups, which have rankled groups on both the left and the right. The plan proposes to delay the rules, which would curb the political activity of 501(c)(4) groups, for one year. Camp has proposed a bill in the House that does just that, and Senate Republicans have done the same, but the bills have yet to come up for a vote.
501(c)(4) groups must promote social welfare and, by law, can’t “primarily” engage in political activity. The rules proposed by the agency in November, which have garnered over 70,000 (mostly critical) public comments, would classify such activities as voter-registration drives and the production of voter guides as political activity that does not count toward an organization’s primary purpose, essentially limiting the amount of political activity groups can engage in. Camp has charged that the rules were “reverse engineered” by the IRS in an attempt to codify the targeting of tea-party groups that it was previously performing behind the scenes.
The proposed rules have ignited a firestorm on the right, and, on the left, groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Service Employees International Union have spoken out against them. even as Democratic senators urge the agency to codify them in advance of the midterm elections.
The forthcoming legislation would also introduce an additional layer of oversight onto the IRS, directing the Government Accountability Office to review each of the agency’s operating divisions in order to determine that they are properly screening cases. The GAO would conduct follow-up reviews every four years.
On May 22, 2013, Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS division that singled out hundreds of conservative organizations blamed her subordinates for the targeting scandal, pleaded the Fifth Amendment, and then left the room.
Today House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) called Lois Lerner back to Congress to testify.
The Hill reported:
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is hauling Lois Lerner back to Congress.
Issa told Lerner’s attorney in a Tuesday letter that he expected the retired IRS official to appear before his committee on March 5.
Lerner, the official at the center of the IRS targeting controversy, invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination at a May 2013 hearing, just days after she apologized for the agency’s treatment of Tea Party groups.
But the Oversight Committee later ruled that Lerner waived her rights by making an opening statement, setting the stage for her recall next week.
In his letter to William Taylor, Lerner’s attorney, Issa said that her testimony “remains critical to this committee’s investigation.”
“Because the committee explicitly rejected her Fifth Amendment privilege claim, I expect her to provide answers when the hearing reconvenes on March 5,” Issa wrote.
Taylor told The Hill he would probably respond to Issa on Wednesday.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat at House Oversight, said that “only one thing has changed in the nine months since Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right in response to Republican accusations of criminal activity – it’s an election year.”
A new study reveals that nearly 33,000 jobs have been impacted due to the Affordable Care Act’s medical device excise tax.
The report comes from the Advanced Medical Technology Association following an online survey of member companies last year.
“According to the report, the tax has led to employment reductions of approximately 14,000 industry workers and foregone hiring of 19,000 workers,” the study stated. “The total job impact of the tax on industry employment was approximately 33,000.”
Stephen J. Ubl, CEO of AdvaMed, said this tax needs to be repealed.
“During a time when there is bipartisan support for growing high-technology manufacturing jobs, these results should serve as a wake-up call. As a result of the medical device tax, we have seen an unprecedented impact on jobs and key investments in R&D (research and development),” Ubl said. “The findings of the report underscore the need to repeal this tax.”
Unified in their opposition to Obamacare, Republicans have been relentless in focusing on its problems, from complaints of canceled policies to higher insurance premiums and President Barack Obama’s unilateral decision to delay for two years the requirement that small businesses cover employees.
The GOP effort has intensified this election year as Republicans look to capitalize on dissatisfaction with the law, turning voter dismay into November victories. The ill effect of Obamacare is the GOP’s constant refrain.
Nearly 3.3 million Americans have enrolled through the federal and state marketplaces as the federal online site worked out the problems of its disastrous rollout, a recent sign of promise for the 4-year-old law.
A silver lining for Democrats in the recent enrollment numbers is the actual sign-ups exceeding projected totals in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Michigan and Colorado, according to the January figures. Three of those states have Senate Democrats who voted for the law and now face re-election – Kay Hagan in North Carolina, Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire and Mark Udall in Colorado.
In the next eight months before the election, Republicans who call the shots in the House will cast a harsh spotlight on the law through hearings and narrowly focused legislation designed to divide Democrats. The GOP has done it this year with bills requiring the Obama administration to report weekly on how many Americans have signed up for health care coverage and a measure bolting new security requirements on the law.
One bill drew the support of 33 Democrats; the other attracted 67 Democrats who bucked the administration.
Last year, House Republicans voted more than 40 times to repeal, replace or gut the law, and strong GOP opposition to Obamacare precipitated the 16-day partial government shutdown last fall that was a political blow to Republicans.
Since recovered, Republicans say privately they are unlikely to push for full repeal in light of the law’s popular elements, such as insurance for individuals even with an existing condition and allowing children to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26. Also, Republicans have been unable to unify around an alternative to health care plan.
Not a smidgen of corruption.
A Republican House committee chairman said the Internal Revenue Service targeted tax-exempt conservative groups for audits, widening the scope of GOP ire over the agency’s oversight of political activities.
House Democrats pushed back, saying Republicans were seeking to use the IRS controversy to score political points with their conservative base in an election year.
The IRS has been under scrutiny since an inspector general’s report last May found that the agency had targeted conservative groups for lengthy and heavy-handed review of their applications to become tax-exempt organizations under section 501(c) 4 of the tax code. The controversy led to significant management shakeups at the IRS and generated a slew of congressional investigations, some of which are still going on.
On Tuesday, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) said his committee’s continuing investigation has found that the IRS also singled out established conservative tax-exempt groups for audits.
“We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s,” Mr. Camp said in a statement. “At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.”
President Denial is at it again. H/T The Other McCain. IRS scandal? What IRS scandal?
Just a bunch of inept bureaucrats accidentallytargeting the president’s political enemies:
Rather, he said, IRS officials were confused about how to implement the law governing those kinds of tax-exempt groups.
“There were some bone-headed decisions,” Obama conceded.
But when asked whether corruption, or mass corruption, was at play, he responded: “Not even mass corruption — not even a smidgen of corruption.”
He acknowledged that then-IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman had been to the White House more than 100 times but said he couldn’t recall speaking to him on any of those occasions.
Have a question on your tax returns? Don’t ask the IRS.
As tax day looms, an annual watchdog report to Congress finds that the agency is falling short when it comes to answering Americans’ questions about the convoluted tax code.
The National Taxpayer Advocate found only 61 percent of people seeking to speak with a customer service representative last year got through to anybody – leaving nearly 20 million calls unanswered.
The report largely blamed budget cuts, and lamented the impact the poor customer service is having on taxpayers.
“At the risk of vast understatement, it is a sad state of affairs when the government writes tax laws as complex as ours – and then is unable to answer any questions beyond ‘basic’ ones from baffled citizens who are doing their best to comply,” the report from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said.
The study detailed how customer service has steadily declined over the past several years, including at its 400 “walk-in sites.” In fiscal 2014, the office said, the IRS will only answer “basic” questions at those sites during filing season. And it will not answer any questions, “even basic ones,” after April, even for filers who got extensions.
“In addition, the IRS will discontinue its longstanding practice of preparing tax returns for low income, elderly and disabled taxpayers who seek help,” the report said.
With the erosion in services, wait times have gone up. In fiscal 2004, callers were left on hold for just 2.6 minutes. Today, the average wait time is nearly 18 minutes.
Some taxpayers resort to writing letters to the IRS with their questions. The agency received 8.4 million such letters last year, but more than half were not answered by the end of fiscal 2013, the report said.
The problems stems in large part from budget cuts. The training budget has, according to the report, gone from $172 million a few years ago to $22 million. The workforce itself has fallen from 95,000 full-time workers to 87,000.
“Thus, the IRS not only has fewer employees than four years ago, but those who remain are less equipped to perform their jobs,” the report said.
As the IRS is reluctant, like other agencies, to simply lay off employees in the face of budget cuts, it has targeted areas like training for cuts.
President Obama and Democrats have been at great pains to insist they knew nothing about IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofits before the 2012 election. They’ve been at even greater pains this week to ensure that the same conservative groups are silenced in the 2014 midterms.
That’s the big, dirty secret of the omnibus negotiations. As one of the only bills destined to pass this year, the omnibus was—behind the scenes—a flurry of horse trading. One of the biggest fights was over GOP efforts to include language to stop the IRS from instituting a new round of 501(c)(4) targeting. The White House is so counting on the tax agency to muzzle its political opponents that it willingly sacrificed any manner of its own priorities to keep the muzzle in place.
And now back to our previously scheduled outrage over the Chris Christie administration’s abuse of traffic cones on the George Washington Bridge.
Yet my sources say that throughout the negotiations Democrats went all in on keeping the IRS rule, even though it meant losing their own priorities. In the final hours before the omnibus was introduced Monday night, the administration made a last push for IMF money. Asked to negotiate that demand in the context of new IRS language, it refused.
That’s a lot to sacrifice for a rule that the administration has barely noted in public, and that then-acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel claimed last fall when it was introduced is simply about providing “clarity” to nonprofits. It only makes sense in a purely political context. The president’s approval ratings are in the toilet, the economy is in idle, the ObamaCare debate rages on, and the White House has a Senate majority to preserve. With one little IRS rule it can shut up hundreds of groups that pose a direct threat by restricting their ability to speak freely in an election season about spending or ObamaCare or jobs. And it gets away with it by positioning this new targeting as a fix for the first round.
This week’s Democratic rally-round further highlights the intensely political nature of their IRS rule. It was quietly dropped in the runup to the holiday season, to minimize the likelihood of an organized protest during its comment period. That 90-day comment period meantime ends on Feb. 27, positioning the administration to shut down conservative groups early in this election cycle.
The IRS Scandal involved:
At least 292 conservative groups targeted
At least 5 pro-Israel groups targeted
Constitutional groups targeted
Groups that criticized Obama administration were targeted
At least two pro-life groups targeted
A Texas voting-rights group was targeted
Conservative activists and businesses were targeted
At least one conservative Hispanic group was targeted
IRS continued to target groups even after the scandal was exposed
The Obama FBI will not file charges against the IRS for targeting conservative groups. The agency never once interviewed a single Tea Party group.
The WSJ.com reported:
The Journal reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is unlikely to file any criminal charges in the targeting of conservative political organizations by the Internal Revenue Service. Yet Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents many of the targets, says that the FBI has never contacted any of her clients to discuss their treatment at the hands of the IRS. “Shouldn’t law enforcement talk to the victims in an investigation?,” she asks in an email. “That’s like investigating a burglary without interviewing the burgled,” notes a Journal editorial…
…Beyond the harassment of Tea Party groups and the leaking of confidential taxpayer data to political opponents, the IRS case also involved senior government officials falsely assuring Congress for a year that there was no targeting. IRS brass then falsely and publicly claimed that the targeting was the work of low-level employees. Yet when it comes to allegations of misleading Congress, the Obama Justice Department was more interested in trying to prosecute baseball pitcher Roger Clemens for comments about steroids than it was in pursuing a case involving the use of the nation’s tax-collecting authority against the President’s opponents.
Whatever happened in New Jersey under Governor Chris Christie in regards to the already-infamous “bridgegate,” the open gloating by the media over the unacceptable behavior of the Republican governor’s staffers is extremely revealing.
Regardless of one’s views on Governor Chris Christie, this coordinated political feeding frenzy is liberal hypocrisy at its finest. Take a look at some of these over-the-top headlines:
Here are 25 underreported stories that most news media barely reported on, or blew by as quickly as possible because Democrats are involved.
1. Fast & Furious
Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt by the U.S. House for refusing to turn over Department of Justice documents related to the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, which led to hundreds of Mexican civilians being killed and U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry’s death. (See NBC News, August 3, 2011 and Independent Journal Review, June 29, 2012.)
Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, Christopher Stevens and Glen Doherty were killed during the attack, which came without any rescue attempt by the Obama administration. Nevertheless, the White House tried to cover up what happened by blaming a YouTube for causing the terrorist attack, even though there was no protest at the Libyan mission.
3. IRS Targeting Scandal
The IRS not only admitted that it had targeted the Tea Party and other conservative groups during the 2012 presidential campaign in an effort to challenge their tax-exempt status applications, but it also apologized for doing so. But where is the rest of the investigation, and what about accountability?
4. AP/Fox News Tracking
Eric Holder, the man who abruptly recused himself from the AP & Fox phone records scandal, signed off on the private email search warrant claiming Fox reporter James Rosen was a suspected criminal. Holder appears to have misled Congress by feigning he knew nothing about it. The Department of Justice also tracked the phone calls of AP news reporters.
5. ObamaCare’s No-Bid Website
According to a senior watchdog reporter at the Washington Examiner, federal officials only considered one firm to design the ObamaCare exchange website instead of putting the task up for competitive bidding.
6. NSA Scandal
At a Congressional hearing, Senator Ron Wyden asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper if the NSA collect “any type of data” on law-abiding citizens. And Clapper said no. If the reports in the Washington Post and elsewhere on PRISM are accurate, then this statement appears to be a lie.
Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner confessed that he tweeted a bulging-underpants photo of himself to a young woman and admitted to “inappropriate” exchanges with six women before and after getting married at a press conference in New York shortly before resigning. (See Huffington Post, June 6, 2011.)
8. Spitzer Prostitution Scandal
Former Governor Elliot Spitzer resigned after it was discovered he had engaged in financial transactions with prostitute Ashley Dupre. Spitzer is pictured above holding a press conference with his humiliated wife Silda Wall. Spitzer later landed a short-running show on CNN. (See NY Daily News, June 23, 2010.)
9. Jon Edwards’ Infidelity
In 2008, John Edwards admitted he had cheated on his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, with former campaign staffer Rielle Hunter during his second presidential campaign. He was later indicted June 2011 on federal campaign finance charges. (See Huffington Post, June 1, 2012.)
10. Chris Dodd – Countrywide Scandal
Former Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd (among five other politicians) received favorable loans from Countrywide that would have saved him up to $70,000, among other financial scandals. He is now Chairman of the Motion Pictures Association of America. (See NY Post, March 30, 2009.)
11. GSA Scandal
The General Services Administration or GSA held a lavish party during a five-day conference in Las Vegas, blowing over $820,000 in taxpayer dollars on shrimp and champagne, commemorative coins, and a mind reader/motivational speaker. (See ABC News, April 16, 2012.)
12. IRS Waste
The IRS blew $50 million dollars for extravagant conferences and ridiculous training videos, doled out $70 million in bonuses and even sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers at one address in Atlanta, Georgia. All without a slap on the wrist.
13. Solyndra/ Green Energy
The now-bankrupt solar energy company, was able to procure $535 million in government loan guarantees. This was after the Obama campaign received over a $100,000 in donations from the “green energy” company, partly bundled for the Obama campaign by major investor and oilman George Kaiser. (See WSJ, September 9, 2011)
14. Charlie Rangel
Resigned Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and current Congressman Charlie Rangel failed to report rental income from vacation property in the Dominican Republic as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income and assets on his financial disclosure statements. (See Huffington Post, July 29, 2010)
15. Maxine Waters – Banking
Current Congresswoman Maxine Waters was brought up on House ethics charges after personally lobbying for a bailout of OneUnited bank, where her husband had previously sat on the board and owned about $350,000 in the bank’s stock. (See Bloomberg, August 11, 2010.)
16. Tony Rezko
According to ABC News, convicted criminal and Obama bundler Tony Rezko made a sweetheart real estate deal with Barack Obama, saving the future president hundreds of thousands of dollars. Obama later said it was a “boneheaded mistake.” (See Townhall, July 16, 2012.)
17. Fannie Mae
Franklin Raines, former Fannie Mae CEO, received million dollar bonuses on top of $91 million salary at FM although the mortgage giant was at center of housing meltdown storm in 2008. Both Raines and former FM CEO Jim Johnson ($21 million salary) worked with the Obama campaign. Obama was the #3 receiver of campaign dollars from Fannie Mae, a so-called “private-public” partnership. (See Politico, October 31, 2011.)
18. Jon Corzine – MF Global
Billionaire bundler for Obama and former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, as CEO of the imploded financial services firm MF Global, apparently perjured himself in Congressional hearings, because he did order $200 million in funds to be moved from MF Global’s customer accounts to illegally cover brokerage accounts at JP Morgan Chase. Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon is a close associate of Barack Obama. (See Politico, May 14, 2012 and Bloomberg March 23, 2012)
19. Geithner Tax Evasion
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner failed to pay Social Security taxes, even though he was advised by his employer to do so. He only admitted to the tax evasion after he was caught by an IRS audit. (See Washington Post, January 19, 200.)
20. Jesse Jackson Jr.
The Office of Congressional Ethics found “substantial reason to believe” that Jesse Jackson Jr. attempted to buy Obama’s Senate seat from convicted former Governor Rod Blagojevich by giving campaign contributions. He was later convicted of illegal misuse of campaign funds. (See Politico, December 2, 2011.)
21. David Wu
Oregon Congressman David Wu resigned after the teenage daughter of a friend accused Wu of “aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior.” (See CBS News, July 26, 2011.)
22. David Paterson
According to the NY Daily News, former NY Governor David Paterson “personally directed two female staffers to pressure a domestic violence victim who was pointing the finger at his right-hand man,” his aide David Johnson. (See NY Daily News, March 2, 2010.)
23. Eric Massa
Former NY Representative Eric Massa resigns after sexual harassment allegations were made by a male staffer. Massa later confessed to the charges. (See CBS News, March 5, 2010.)
24. Tom Donilon – National Security Leaks
National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, a man who before the Obama administration had no serious experience in national security, has been widely speculated to have leaked high level security secrets. (See Gateway Pundit, June 11, 2012.)
This list is just the tip of the iceberg from the past few years, surely many people who get news outside of the major left-wing news media can think of many other examples.
So, why is it that Chris Christie is responsible for everything his staffers do, while nothing in the White House is Obama’s fault?
Let’s see, riding a bike is healthy, does not burn evil fossil fuels, so, you would think Liberals would not want to tax bicycling right? WRONG!
Chicago is by no means the only place across the U.S. tempted to see bicyclists as a possible new source of revenue, only to run into questions of fairness and enforceability. That is testing the vision of city leaders who are transforming urban expanses with bike lanes and other amenities in a quest for relevance, vitality and livability – with never enough funds.
Two or three states consider legislation each year for some type of cycling registration and tax – complete with decals or mini-license plates, National Conference of State Legislatures policy specialist Douglas Shinkle said. This year, it was Georgia, Oregon, Washington and Vermont. The Oregon legislation, which failed, would even have applied to children.
“I really think that legislators are just trying to be as creative as possible and as open to any sort of possibilities to fill in any funding gaps. Everything is on the table,” he said.
Of course it is, because EVERYTHING ought to be taxed according to Democrats! Funny, they never think of reducing their rate of spending do they?
Of course, to be fair, those riding bikes, or anyone who just wants to contribute to funding city bike paths ought to pony up for such infrastructure. Colorado Springs, hardly a bastion of Liberalism, does it the right way
Hawaii has had a statewide bike registration law for decades, as has the normally tax-hating city of Colorado Springs, Colo., though in both cases, they are one-time fees and all proceeds go toward bicycle infrastructure.
In the case of Colorado Springs, the proposal came from the cycling community itself. The $4 tax on the purchase of new bikes has been in place since 1988, and no one seems to mind. It only raises up to $150,000 a year, but it’s useful as a local match for federal grants. And it gives cycling advocates leverage when pushing for bike projects. For one thing, it has revealed that 25,000 bikes are sold each year, a big number in a city of 430,000.
Now, I do not support federal grants for such local projects. Let those localities, and those who ride bikes, or who wish to contribute, find the needed funds. But the one-time fee is a good idea. Too often, taxes that are supposed to be temporary become permanent, then they are raised, and later raised even more.
Despicable, absolutely despicable. And any Republican who went along with this should be ashamed of themselves. There are dozens and dozens of things we could cut, but we target disabled vets? Every single member who voted for this should be thrown from office.
A note about the clip from Patty Murray promising to fix the problem, after the bill is passed. Why after? Why not fix it now, before passing it? This is just more double talk from our Congress. Don’t worry about this bill, we will fix it later, right, sure you will Congresswoman.
Another note about our politicians in Congress. Only the Tea Party members seem sincere about fixing our fiscal house. The career politicians seem far more concerned with retaining power than serving their country. We can change this culture of Congressional entitlement, or begin to at least, next November. We need to retake the Senate, and keep the House, but we also need to support more Conservative candidates like Milton Wolf in Kansas over incumbent Republicans who have forgotten what their job is.
Not so much apparently. The Other McCain has some painful details
If there is one sentence which should be indelibly etched in your mind about President Obama’s bailout of General Motors, it is this:
In other words, the folks who had loaned GM money got screwed over, and the benefit went directly to Obama’s friends in Big Labor, who had done so much to destroy the company’s profitability. Delivering effective control of the company to the UAW — anybody want to guess how that deal worked out at contract negotiation time?
It makes perfect sense: Screw over the bondholders, put the UAW in charge of the company and then have the UAW negotiate with itself!
While you’re contemplating that psychotic madness, now let’s take a look at the bottom line for U.S. taxpayers:
DETROIT — The U.S. government ended up losing $10.5 billion on the General Motors bailout, but it says the alternative would have been far worse.
The Treasury Department sold its final shares of the Detroit auto giant Monday, recovering $39 billion of the $49.5 billion it spent to save the dying automaker at the height of the financial crisis five years ago.
Without the bailout, the country would have lost more than 1 million jobs, and the economy could have slipped from recession into a depression, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said on a conference call with reporters.
Well, if Jacob Lew says the alternative was worse than losing $10.5 billion of taxpayer money, who are we to disagree? Because the effects of hypothesized alternative scenarios are always subject to speculation, officials can justify any policy by declaring that things would have been worse if we had done something different. (Let’s keep this principle of Liberal Logic™ in mind: Next time some hippie peacenik tells you that Bush’s Iraq policy was a failure, just remind him that an imaginary hypothetical alternative — e.g., Saddam Hussein’s army invading Connecticut — would have been much worse.)
Ah, yes, President Obama, the transparent president. transparent as in we can see right through him, and anyone that can’t, well they are employed by, or are watching MSNBS. Think about this the next time a Democrat, pretty much any Democrat will do, tells you we must raise taxes on the rich. What they are really saying is we must have higher taxes so that Obama can grease the palms of his union buddies.
Because their main job appears to be giving your kids the education the billions of dollars we throw at the Abbott districts doesn’t give them.
Essex County College President Gale Gibson is known to march from office to office with a poster-sized board under her arm.
With crushed corners and tears, the well-worn board makes one thing clear: ECC ranks at the bottom of New Jersey’s 19 county colleges as far as graduation and retention rates.
Gibson — who was appointed interim college president in April and confirmed as president Oct. 15 by the board of trustees — has made boosting ECC’s rank her top mission and has laid out an ambitious five-year plan.
“There’s no place for Essex County College to go but up,” Gibson said in an interview. “I see the college in a better place in five years and if it isn’t I shouldn’t be sitting in this chair. It cannot remain where it is right now.”
The numbers on the ranking chart paint a stark picture: 5 percent of full-time ECC students who began in fall 2007 graduate within three years and just 46 percent of students who began in fall 2009 returned in fall 2010.
But inching up the rankings means overcoming major academic challenges — especially at a college where an alarming number of students arrive unprepared for college level work from Newark, East Orange, Irvington and nearby towns. About 90 percent of students take at least one remedial course and 80 percent of students enroll in at least two.
Newark receives more than $672 million of our tax dollars in education funding. East Orange garners $170 million, and Irvington gets $106 million. Add in $63 million for the City of Orange and that’s more than a billion dollars a year to subsidize a public school system which graduates a crop of students who are utterly unprepared for the rigors of community college.
Let’s be honest. It’s hard to concentrate on more than one scandal at a time, and the ObamaCare meltdown could be the most consequential government policy failure in modern American history.
But let’s not forget another scandal, one that could well be one of the most consequential acts of sheer governmental malice in modern history – the IRS’s systematic targeting of conservative groups, targeting that had a profound impact on the conservative grassroots during the 2012 election.
And that scandal is not going away. Here are five reasons why:
First, it’s still ongoing. At the ACLJ, we’ve filed a lawsuit against the IRS on behalf of 41 conservative groups in 22 states. While the IRS targeted all of these groups – delaying some of their tax-exempt applications three years or more – a number of them still haven’t received IRS approval. Even now. Even after the IRS apologized for its misconduct.
Apology not accepted.
Second, with every new revelation, it keeps getting worse. In May, we were told that IRS misconduct applied only low-level employees in one office in Ohio.
Now we know the wrongdoing goes to the highest levels of the IRS, it also crosses agency lines (into the Federal Election Commission) and involves far greater misconduct than initially disclosed. The IRS not only targeted groups for unlawful review, it also illegally disclosed donor information to friendly, liberal media, and has engaged in a pattern of retaliatory audits – and that’s the tip of the targeting iceberg.
Third, IRS scandals are now widespread. The targeting scandal has placed the IRS under unprecedented scrutiny, and – quite frankly – the IRS is showing that it’s not only partisan, it’s corrupt, incompetent, and mean-spirited.
Corrupt? The IRS wastes absurd amounts of taxpayer money on extravagant conferences and other perks for its employees.
Incompetent? According to an internal audit, in the past decade, the IRS has paid out as much as $132 billion in “bogus claims” under the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Mean-spirited? Did you know that for a two-year span the IRS audited almost 70 percent of adoptive families? The normal audit rate for middle-class families is closer to one percent.
Fourth, scandal goes straight to the top. Last month, I wrote a column called “Obama’s fingerprints all over IRS Tea Party scandal” that quickly went viral. In this piece I noted that President Obama’s involvement has been hiding in plain sight, as he publicly and repeatedly condemned citizens’ groups like the targeted Tea Party groups and raised the very questions the IRS later unconstitutionally investigated.
Fifth, the IRS targeting scandal is directly relevant to the mother of all policy disasters, ObamaCare. With the IRS set to function as ObamaCare’s enforcement arm, every story of corruption, incompetence, and malice casts doubt on the IRS’s ability faithfully and lawfully discharge its responsibilities within our health care system.
At this point, the IRS and ObamaCare scandals are now dependent and self-reinforcing. Scandal in one area undermines confidence in the other, and the Administration is now in the position of explaining to the American people not only why it can be entrusted with directly managing one-sixth of the American economy when they can’t even build a functioning website, but also why the government’s most corrupt agency should enforce ObamaCare mandates.
Some commentators have called the disastrous ObamaCare rollout President Obama’s “Hurricane Katrina moment” – the moment when perceived government incompetence bursts out on the national stage in a way that no American can ignore.
But in this case, the Administration’s “Katrina moment” is amplified by its Nixon characteristics – the malicious use of government against political enemies. And just as Americans cannot and will not ignore the Administration’s destructive incompetence in the health care arena, they will not ignore the Administration’s malicious actions against their conservative fellow citizens.
The IRS scandal is not going away. It’s too important – too consequential – to the health of our Republic. Instead, the national response to the scandal must be clear and unequivocal, sending a message to this (and future) presidential administrations:
The government belongs to the people, not the President, and it must never be turned against the people to serve the President’s (or any) political agenda.
The Internal Revenue Service issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds last year to people using stolen identities, with some of the money going to addresses in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Ireland, according to an inspector general’s report released Thursday.
The IRS sent a total of 655 tax refunds to a single address in Lithuania, and 343 refunds went to a lone address in Shanghai.
In the U.S., more fraudulent returns went to Miami than any other city. Other top destinations were Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and Houston.
The IRS has stepped up efforts to fight identity theft, but thieves are getting more aggressive, said the report by J. Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration. Last year, the IRS stopped more than $12 billion in fraudulent refunds from going to identity thieves, compared with $8 billion the year before.
“Identity theft continues to be a serious problem with devastating consequences for taxpayers and an enormous impact on tax administration,” George said in a statement. The fraud “erodes taxpayer confidence in the federal tax system.”
Thieves often steal Social Security numbers from people who don’t have to file tax returns, including the young, the old and people who have died, the report said. In other cases, thieves use stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns before the legitimate taxpayer files.
The IRS, which takes pride in issuing quick refunds, often sends them out before employers are required to file forms documenting wages, the report said.
“The constantly evolving tactics used by scammers to commit identity theft continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS, and we take this issue very seriously,” the IRS said in a statement. “The IRS has a comprehensive and aggressive identity theft strategy that focuses on preventing refund fraud, investigating these crimes and assisting taxpayers victimized by it.”
Despite budget cuts, the agency said, agents have resolved more than 565,000 cases of identity theft this year, three times the number of cases resolved at the same time last year.
A separate report by George said the number of identity theft victims is on the rise as thieves get more aggressive.
Through June, the IRS identified 1.6 million victims who had their identities stolen during this year’s tax filing season, the report said. That compares with 1.2 million victims in 2012.
Many of these people didn’t realize they were victims until they submitted their returns only to learn from the IRS that someone else had already used their Social Security number to file and claim a refund.
The IRS does a good job of eventually identifying the proper owner of Social Security numbers, but the process can be lengthy, the report said. For cases closed between August 2011 and July 2012, it took an average of 312 days to resolve the case and issue a proper refund, the report said.
The IRS said it has resolved most of this year’s identity theft cases within 120 days.
Last year, the IRS issued 1.1 million refunds to people using stolen Social Security numbers, the inspector general’s report said. Those refunds totaled $3.6 billion. By comparison, the IRS issued $5.2 billion in refunds to people who stole Social Security numbers in 2011, the report said.
Additionally, the IRS issued 141,000 refunds last year to people using stolen taxpayer identification numbers, which are typically used by foreign citizens who earn money in the U.S. Those refunds totaled $385 million, the report said.
Florida is a big target of identity theft in part because of the large number of older residents living there. Older and younger people can be targets for identity theft because many don’t meet the income requirements to file a federal tax return.
Nearly 38,000 potentially fraudulent refunds, totaling $147 million, were sent to addresses in Miami, the report said.
Among individual homes, one address in Orlando received 580 tax refunds totaling $870,000, the report said. Another Orlando address received 291 refunds totaling $466,000.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has introduced a bill that would toughen criminal penalties for people who file fake tax returns under someone else’s name. The bill would also require the IRS to get legitimate taxpayers the refunds they’re due within 90 days.
“While these reports show that some progress is being made in reducing tax fraud, it’s also clear that there is still much to be done and there are still a number of improvements that need to be made to protect both taxpayers and the U.S. Treasury,” Nelson said.
There is just no quenching the Neo-Marxist’s thirst for absolute power
Now it’s time for San Francisco to take its turn in the sugary beverage battle.
Supervisor Scott Wiener plans this week to introduce a ballot measure that would set a tax on sugary beverages. The proceeds would fund health, nutrition and activity programs for city youth.
Wiener’s proposal would levy a tax of 24 cents on each can of soda sold in the city, where fast-food restaurants are already prohibited from handing out free toys in kids’ meals high in fat, salt and sugar.
Similar tax measures were defeated last year across the bay in Richmond and in the Los Angeles County town of El Monte, after the beverage industry spent millions of dollars to kill the proposals.
And New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s attempt to ban the sale of sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces has been halted by the courts.
Note the part highlighted in red by me. What that should read is the proceeds will be wasted and will line the pockets of fat cat politicians and their flunkies.