NASA Employees Caught Buying Child Porn, Escape Prosecution, Now Their Names Are Being Kept Secret

NASA Employees Caught Buying Child Porn From Site Which Showed Three-Year-Olds Being Abused, But They Escape Prosecution And Now Their Names Are Being Kept Secret – Daily Mail

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NASA employees were caught buying child pornography from a criminal ring in Eastern Europe that distributed images of minors as young as three, it can be revealed.

An investigation by Daily Mail Online found 16 staff members from the space agency paid for pictures and videos of children in sexual situations, but were never prosecuted.

Their names have never been released because of government guidelines which protect their privacy – prompting fears some of the culprits are still employed by NASA.

The probe found that in 2010, the employees paid for the pornography using personal credit cards or PayPal while working for the government.

Their actions were uncovered during Project Flicker – an investigation by the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into American citizens buying child pornography from Belarus and Ukraine.

The investigation began in 2007 when more than 33,000 images of minors being abused flooded into the country.

Investigators identified more than 5,200 citizens across the country who had paid for a subscription to illicit websites in order to access the content.

In 2010 it was revealed that 264 of these worked for the Pentagon as either employees or contractors. Some of them worked for the NSA and had top security clearance.

But the Daily Mail Online can reveal for the first time that NASA employees were also identified in the sickening scheme in the same year.

Transactions from the space agency workers were discovered after a FBI special agent tipped off investigators.

However their names have been redacted in documents obtained by Daily Mail Online via a Freedom of Information Act request from NASA’s Office of Inspector General.

Therefore it is not known whether they were disciplined or sanctioned within the department – meaning they could still be working for the government.

When the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) investigated the Pentagon employees identified in the scheme, they only investigated 52 of the suspects and 212 people on ICE’s list were never questioned at all.

Some had highest available security clearance.

After the probe was completed just 10 were ever charged with viewing or purchasing child pornography – prompting fears some of those caught could still be working for the military.

It is not known whether any of the NASA employers were questioned, but it is clear they were not prosecuted – as their names have not been revealed.

If they had been found guilty of a crime, their names would not have been redacted in the disclosed files.

A spokesman for NASA told Daily Mail Online they would not be commenting beyond what was stated in the FOIA documents.

A spokesman from Immigration and Customs Enforcement said: ‘In 2006, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) opened an investigation into the criminal network behind hundreds of child pornography websites.

‘The investigation, called Project Flicker, was conducted in collaboration with other U.S. and international law enforcement partners around the world, and identified 30,000 customers in 132 countries – resulting in hundreds of convictions in the U.S. and 16 arrests in Belarus and the Ukraine.

‘The criminal rings involved used a variety of online and traditional payment methods, elaborate defense measures and a franchise business model that provided access to images and videos of sexually exploited boys and girls, some as young as 3 years old.

‘HSI’s Cyber Crimes Center distributed more than 5,000 domestic leads to field offices around the country and shared more than 4,000 foreign leads with its law enforcement partners via HSI’s attaché offices.

‘HSI is a leading federal law enforcement agency combating the sexual exploitation of children. HSI conducts investigations under Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who possess, trade and produce child pornography; who travel overseas for sex with minors; and who engage in the sex trafficking of children.

‘HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.’

The FBI said they would not be adding to the ICE’s statement.

The latest disclosure comes after Daily Mail Online investigations unearthed shocking breaches of computer guidelines inside the Department of Education the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services.

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House And Senate Claimed Only 45 Employees Each, Then Signed Up 12,359 On Obamacare ‘Small Business’ Exchange

U.S. House And Senate Each Said They Had Only 45 Employees, Then Signed Up 12,359 For Insurance On Obamacare ‘Small-Business’ Exchange – CNS

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Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives certified that they had only 45 employees each in order to sign up for the District of Columbia’s Small Business Exchange. But 12,359 – or 86 percent of the exchange’s enrollees – are members of Congress, congressional staff members, and their spouses and dependents, according to an appeal filed with the D.C. Court of Appeals by Judicial Watch.

The public interest law firm announced Monday that it is appealing the February dismissal of its lawsuit challenging congressional participation in the Obamacare exchange even though the D.C. Exchange Act limits enrollment to small companies with 50 or fewer employees.

“Congress obviously has far more than 50 employees,” Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha pointed out in his opening brief. “It has thousands of employees.”

Congress enrolled in the small business exchange when its previous coverage under the Federal Employee Health Benefits plan was terminated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and congressional employees stood to lose thousands of dollars in “employer contributions” if they enrolled in the District’s individual exchange.

According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives both certified that they “employ 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees.”

In October 2013, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a final rule that provides an “employer contribution” covering about three-quarters of the premiums of congressional employees enrolled in the small business exchange starting Jan. 1, 2014.

The OPM rule “allowed at least 12,359 congressional employees and their spouses and dependents to obtain health insurance through the Small Business Exchange… These 12,359 participants represent an astonishing 86% of the Small Business Exchange’s total enrollment,” the appeal states.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit last October on behalf of Kirby Vining, a D.C. resident since 1986, who objected to the expenditure of municipal funds to insure congressional employees in an exchange that was established specifically for small employers in the District.

“Congress authored the law [ACA], and is going to rather questionable lengths to avoid compliance with the law it drafted,” Vining said.

Although the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority conceded that D.C. law limits participation in the exchange to small employers, it argued in court that “the local statute must yield to the extent the federal statute or regulation applies.”

In its motion to dismiss the case, the authority also stated that the exchange “has been funded exclusively by federal grants awarded to the District to establish its Exchange, and more recently, an assessment imposed on health carriers doing business in the District.”

In dismissing the lawsuit, D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert Dixon ruled that Vining had no standing to challenge the OPM rule because he “has not demonstrated a reasonable inference that municipal taxpayer funds have been appropriated to defendant exchange authority to establish a cognizable injury to maintain standing to bring his underlying complaint.”

However, in a budget report submitted to Congress, the Exchange Authority’s actual budget for Fiscal Year 2013 ($10.9 million) and FY 2014 ($66.1 million) was identified as ” ‘municipal monies’ as originating from the District’s General Fund. No monies are identified as Federal Funds, Private Revenue, or Intra-District Funds,” according to the appeal.

“In Fiscal Year 2015, the Exchange Authority’s budget was reclassified from the General Fund to a newly created fund, separate and distinct from ‘Federal Funds’,” it continued.

Dixon also ruled that the OPM rule preempts the D.C. Exchange Act, noting that “allowing members of Congress and their staff to participate in the District’s small business health options program is authorized by federal regulations.”

But Judicial Watch argues in its appeal that the D.C. law cannot be preempted because it is “completely consistent and entirely compatible” with the federal law and in fact its “sole purpose is to implement various provisions of ACA.”

“In reality, the court ruled that a determination by a federal bureaucrat – in this instance, the director of OPM – trumps the 50-employee limit of the Exchange Act, at least with respect to Congress,” the group’s appeal brief stated. “No lawful regulation – much less a regulation that purports to delegate such authority to an agency head – can do that, and the Court cites no legal authority whatsoever for their astonishing conclusion that it can.”

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that allowing Congress to enroll in an exchange meant for small businesses is both “unlawful and unethical.”

“It is an abuse of District taxpayers to use D.C. funds to subsidize illegal health insurance for Congress,” Fitton said in a statement. “It is unlawful and unethical for District officials to use local dollars to participate in Congress’s Obamacare fraud.

“The highest court in the District of Columbia must affirm the right of District taxpayers to protect their monies from being misappropriated by corrupt District officials.”

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Predictable: Leftist CEO Who Cut His Pay To Give Employees $70k Minimum Wage Has Pretty Much Ruined His Business

Lib Economics!! CEO Who Cut His Pay To Give Employees ‘$70k Minimum Wage’ Pretty Much Ruined His Business – Right Scoop

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When Dan Price announced that he would cut his million dollar pay in order to give his employees a $70,000 minimum wage, all the stupid little progressive morons rushed out to praise his “inspiring” move:

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Matthew P. Buckley
@docbuckley

I praise CEO Dan Price for raising the minimum wage of his workers to $70,000 and taking a pay cut himself: http://time.com/money/3831828/ceo-raise-70000-dan-price

10:12 PM – 24 May 2015
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Yannick Jacob
@Yannick_Jacob

#Inspiring: Dan Price, CEO of @GravityPymts, cut his own salary so that he could pay every employee a minimum of $70,000 a year. Way to go!!

6:50 AM – 1 Jun 2015
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TheCareerEngineer
@careerengineer

So as it turns out, guaranteeing employees a $70,000 salary is great for business. Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price… http://fb.me/1zDoeocyT

9:02 AM – 22 May 2015
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David Bocek
@davebocekwriter

Its a good thing what Dan Price of Gravity Payments is doing for his company. Paying a minimum salary of $70,000. Good idea in bad market

5:13 PM – 21 Apr 2015
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Tommy
@TommyGMeadeJr

CEO Dan Price, to their surprise, told his workers “that he thinks a $70,000 minimum wage is what everyone deserves.”

2:55 PM – 17 Apr 2015
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Not so fast, proggies!!! Just a few months later, that dude’s business is falling apart! LOL!

From Fox News:

Dan Price, 31, tells the New York Times that things have gotten so bad he’s been forced to rent out his house.

Only three months ago Price was generating headlines – and accusations of being a socialist – when he announced the new salary minimum for all 120 employees at his Gravity Payments credit card processing firm. Price said he was doing it, and slashing his $1 million pay package to pay for it, to address the wealth gap.

“I’m working as hard as I ever worked to make it work,” he told the Times in a video that shows him sitting on a plastic bucket in the garage of his house. “I’m renting out my house right now to try and make ends meet myself.”

The Times article said Price’s decision ended up costing him a few customers and two of his “most valued” employees, who quit after newer employees ended up with bigger salary hikes than older ones.

“He gave raises to people who have the least skills and are the least equipped to do the job, and the ones who were taking on the most didn’t get much of a bump,” Gravity financial manager Maisey McMaster, 26, told the paper.

She said when she talked to Price about it, he treated her as if she was being selfish and only thinking about herself.

“That really hurt me,” she said. “I was talking about not only me, but about everyone in my position.”

Approaching burnout, she quit.

Grant Moran, 29, also quit, saying the new pay-scale was disconcerting

“Now the people who were just clocking in and out were making the same as me,” he told the paper. “It shackles high performers to less motivated team members.”

Price said McMaster and Moran, or even critic Rush Limbaugh, the talk show host, were not wrong.

“There’s no perfect way to do this and no way to handle complex workplace issues that doesn’t have any downsides or trade-offs,” he said.

The Times said customers who left were dismayed at what Price did, viewing it as a political statement. Others left fearful Gravity would soon hike fees to pay for salary increases.

LOL! I LOVE IT! This is almost as good as the Seattle minimum wage debacle! I really can’t say which is more satisfying – if y’all want to debate in the comments, be my guest. Now excuse me, I have a glass of delicious liberal tears to enjoy.

Just kidding, that would probably be disease-ridden.

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USSC Shuts Down Obama’s Attempt To Force Christian Groups To Pay For Their Employees’ Abortion-Inducing Drugs

The Supreme Court Just Gave Obama Some Very Bad News – Tell Me Now

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The Supreme Court just ruled against a major Obama agenda in a decision that is sure to leave the president devastated.

The highest court in the land just ruled against Obama’s attempt to force Christian organizations to pay for abortion-causing drugs for their employees. This is the fifth time the Supreme Court has ruled against President Obama.

Christians everywhere rejoiced at the decision and were thankful that their religious freedoms were being protected.

“How many times must the government lose in court before it gets the message?” asked Lori Windham, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “For years now the government has been claiming that places like Catholic Charities and the Little Sisters of the Poor are not ‘religious employers’ worthy of an exemption.”

“That argument has always been absurd. Every time a religious plaintiff has gone to the Supreme Court for protection from the government’s discriminatory mandate the Court has protected them,” she added. “That’s what happened to the Little Sisters of the Poor, Wheaton College, Notre Dame, and Hobby Lobby.”

“The government really needs to give up on its illegal and unnecessary mandate,” Windham concluded. “The federal bureaucracy has lots of options for distributing contraceptives–they don’t need to coerce nuns and priests to do it for them.”

The Supreme Court has told Obama no time and time again, yet he just can’t seem to get the message. Hopefully, this time he finally will.

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Over 100,000 Federal Employees Owe Back Taxes Totaling $1.4 Billion

More Than 100,000 Feds Owe Back Taxes – Washington Examiner

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Federal employees owed more in delinquent taxes last year than any year in the past decade, costing the Internal Revenue Service $1.4 billion in 2014.

The 113,805 civilian government employees who declined to pay all of their taxes last year would be ineligible to work for federal agencies under a House bill introduced last week that would hold officials accountable for evading taxes.

Four in 100 federal employees owed the IRS last year, according to the tax agency’s annual delinquency report released Tuesday.

Among cabinet-level agencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs had the highest rate of tax delinquency, with 15,476 of its employees evading all or part of their taxes in 2014.

VA staff collectively owed nearly $162 million in back taxes, the report said.

In the House of Representatives, more than 500 staffers together didn’t pay the IRS $6.7 million last year.

Five of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ 41 staff members owe money. With just 1 percent of its employees owing the IRS, the Treasury Department had the lowest rate.

“It is disconcerting that federal civilian employees owe more than one billion dollars in back taxes,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “These employees are not exempt from their civic responsibility to fulfill tax obligations, and those who refuse to pay what they owe should be held accountable.”

The Oversight Committee will review the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2015 during a mark-up session Wednesday.

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Starbucks Wants Employees To Harass And Confront Customers Over Racism (Brian Anderson)

Starbucks Wants Employees To Harass And Confront Customers Over Racism – Brian Anderson

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Here’s your overpriced pretentious specialty coffee drink, and would you like to check your white privilege with that? Apparently, Starbucks is not content with being the home to douchey hipsters pretending to be writers; they also want to be the destination for uncomfortable racial confrontations. The coffee giant is encouraging its employees to give customers crap about racism.

Fortune reports:

Beginning on Monday, Starbucks baristas will have the option as they serve customers to hand cups on which they’ve handwritten the words “Race Together” and start a discussion about race. This Friday, each copy of USA Today – which has a daily print circulation of almost 2 million and is a partner of Starbucks in this initiative – will have the first of a series of insert with information about race relations, including a variety of perspectives on race. Starbucks coffee shops will also stock the insert.

As for that “variety of perspectives,” we should look no further than Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to see what the company thinks about race relations in this country:

The initiative follows several months of consultations with employees that started in December, in part as a result of protests that roiled several U.S. cities after grand juries declined to indict white police officers in the killings of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., near St. Louis, and 43-year-old Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y.

Schultz has met with almost 2,000 Starbucks employees since then in cities hit most directly by racial tension and anti-police brutality protests in the last year, including Oakland, St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Seattle, where Starbucks is based.

In other words, Schultz comes from a perspective that white people are racists, that cops victimize black people, and that our entire society unfairly places non-whites in a position of disadvantage. So when he says he wants Starbucks employees to engage customers in discussions on race, clearly he wants to push his guilty liberal position of “blame whitey” for everything.

I don’t drink coffee, but if I did, I sure as sh*t wouldn’t get it from Starbucks. But let’s just say that I was getting a burrito at Chipotle and the tortilla guy started in with me about my white privilege. My response would be to tell him to go to hell and I would never buy food from that company again. People simply don’t want to take crap from some minimum wage dork.

Even Fortune acknowledges this is a bad move:

The potential exists for arguments to break out (not for nothing this topic is the third rail of U.S. politics), and some may fairly question any move that could potentially slow in-store service.

I don’t doubt that a good portion of Starbucks customers are liberals that will love this, but sooner rather than later, a barista is going to pick a racism fight with the wrong person. Especially considering how cranky some people are before they have their morning coffee.

CEO Schultz has already alienated gun owners by bowing to pressure from Moms Demand Action and proving he doesn’t respect the 2nd Amendment. Now he seems intent on narrowing his customer base to persons of color and those who admit to their white privilege. Under this business model, pretty soon you won’t be able to get a cup of coffee unless you believe in man-made global warming.

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Department Of Education Employees Caught Stealing Students’ Personal Information To Apply For Credit Cards, Loans

Fraudsters In Department Of Education Are Caught Stealing Students’ Personal Information To Apply For Loans And Cellphones, And One Worker Looked Up Barack Obama’s Student Loan Records – Daily Mail

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Government employees have been caught stealing students’ personal information to apply for loans, credit cards and set up new cell phone accounts,Daily Mail Online has learned.

Reports on breaches of staff conduct inside the Department of Education shows how workers stole social security numbers from a database while a man was fired for trying to look up President Barack Obama’s student loan records.

Cyber security campaigners warned that the failure to protect sensitive information because of ‘bureaucratic incompetence’ is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

Insiders involved in illicit breaches are often overlooked, simply because the public think hackers and cybercriminals are more often to blame, they said.

Lee Tien, senior staff attorney and Adams Chair for Internet Rights at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the Daily Mail Online ‘insiders are frequently part of the breach story’.

He added that entities – especially the government – need to uphold their duty to safeguard other people’s personal information.

Berin Szoka, the president of Tech Freedom, insisted some of the privacy issues come from within the government.

‘As usual, the real privacy problem is government. Big Brother surveillance at the NSA is bad enough,’ he told the Daily Mail Online.

‘But bureaucratic incompetence can be far bigger problem. Failing to protect sensitive student loan data is just the tip of the iceberg of poor data security inside government.’

According to the documents – obtained by the Daily Mail Online through a Freedom of Information Act request – a number of government employees set up an illicit scheme to steal students’ information.

One woman created a bogus Department of Education account to access the National Student Loan Data System to aid her criminal plot.

While accessing the records, she would extract information from individual accounts.

She swapped around the last four digits of her SSN with those of another during the scheme, and set up the fake identity to apply for credit cards, personal loans and set up a Sprint cell phone account.

An internal investigation within the department found she went into the database 24 times between 2006 and 2009 to retrieve the information.

Just 24 hours after searching through the database on one occasion in 2009, the documents revealed she applied for a personal loan.

The unidentified employee was arrested and charged in 2011 for stealing more than $500 using the stolen details.

One of the documents related to her case reads: ‘It appears [the employee] did not have a business reason to run either name in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).’

After pleading guilty, she was sentenced to 18 months in jail with a 17-month suspended sentence. However, according to the documents, the employee only served a month in prison and was then given authorized work by a judge.

It’s not known what happened to the other staff members involved in the scheme.

In 2011, a man violated department protocols by trying to access ‘Barrack [sic] Obama’s student loans records. According to the documents he consistently spelled the president’s name wrong – using two ‘r’s.

The employee involved was not prosecuted, but lost his job after departmental staff also discovered he had misused his government-issued travel card.

It is not clear why he tried to access the records as Obama has made the majority of his financial history public knowledge.

He paid off his student loans in in 2004 while he was in the Illinois State Senate. He took out $42,753 in loans to pay for his Harvard Law School tuition while Michelle applied for $40,762 in loans for her Harvard Law education.

The couple carried their debt for 25 years, but the president is believed to have paid it off using $1.9million worth of royalties from his book, Dreams of My Father. It was reissued and became a best seller after his speech at the Democratic convention in 2004.

A third Department of Education employee was investigated in 2014 for using his government email to promote his own business at the taxpayers’ expense. Some of the documents involved have been heavily redacted.

The analysis revealed there were approximately 166 calls totaling 616 minutes or approximately 10 hours of calls during on-duty hours. His calls cost the government approximately $478.36 based on his hourly salary.

He admitted that he shouldn’t have used government equipment – including a scanner, printer, phone and email – for his own personal gain, but it’s not clear what type of business he was operating or whether he was punished.

Another part of the document trove described the investigation into Joseph Butler, a veteran department employee from Clarkstown, Georgia, who accessed child pornography for years.

According to reports he was able to filter his computer activity and get around filtering software preventing government staff from visiting illicit websites.

More than 70 disturbing images were founded embedded in several Microsoft Word documents that were then saved to his government computer.

His Internet browsing history also revealed he had searched for child nudity and pornography.

Butler used his computer to download images onto CD-ROMs, which federal agents found during a search of his home in July 2011. Agents also found graphic stories Butler had written about children.

He is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence. When he is released he will have to sign up to the sex offenders register and completed five years of supervision.

The Department of Education did not comment on the revelations.

However a report in 2015 addressing ‘management challenges’ highlighted ‘repeated problems in IT security and noted increasing threats and vulnerabilities to the Department’s systems and data.’

The document said more steps needed to be taken to make sure federal employees did not breach the database.

One of the factors considered was a two-step authorization process – but it is yet to be implemented.

In September 2013 the Office of the Inspector General – who oversee the Department’s management – warned officials there were weaknesses led to ‘unauthorized accesses to private information.’

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Senator Vitter Asks Why AG Nominee Didn’t Prosecute Bank Employees Who Laundered Money For Terrorists (Video)

Senator To Loretta Lynch: Why Did No One Go to Jail For Laundering Money To Terrorists? – Daily Signal

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Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, is facing questions about why she let multiple bank employees who funneled millions of dollars to the Iranian government, Middle Eastern terrorists and Mexican drug cartels walk away without criminal prosecution.

Sen. David Vitter, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today launched an investigation into the matter. He cited the concern as a reason to delay Senate confirmation of Lynch, who was nominated to replace Eric Holder as the chief law enforcement officer in the United States.

“If Loretta Lynch and [the Justice Department] swept under the rug a serious money laundering scheme involving Mexican drug cartels and terrorist organizations, we need to know a heck of a lot more about it,” Vitter told The Daily Signal.

“This is especially true since American citizens may be completely unaware that their identities – including names and Social Security numbers – were compromised in this fraud.”

While serving as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Lynch, along with the Justice Department, oversaw a massive lawsuit against British banking giant HSBC. Bank officials and other employees faced accusations of laundering more than $200 million through its U.S. bank. The employees allegedly opened fake accounts using customers’ private information.

Federal prosecutors accused HSBC of “illegally conducting transactions on behalf of customers in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma – all countries that were subject to sanctions enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the time of the transactions.”

Instead of criminally prosecuting those individuals responsible, Lynch helped negotiate a $1.92 billion dollar settlement with HSBC in December 2012.

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During her confirmation hearing for attorney general last month, Lynch said she has been “very aggressive” in pursuing white-collar crime.

“At the outset, no individual is ‘too big to jail.’ And no one is above the law,” she told Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

But in the case of HSBC – one of the most high-profile white-collar crimes to date – no one ever went to jail.

The Daily Signal has reached out to the Justice Department for comment on the lawsuit.

Some, like Vitter, perceive the settlement as nothing more than a “slap on the wrist.” He said: “A simple monetary fine is the equivalent of a slap on the wrist, and would cast serious doubt on Ms. Lynch’s capacity to serve as our top law enforcement official.”

After being tipped off by a WND reporter who has closely followed the case since its onset, Vitter and his staff yesterday spoke with whistleblower John Cruz, a former HSBC manager who took more than 1,000 pages of bank account records and recordings related to the money laundering before being fired.

Following that conversation, Vitter became suspicious about the settlement. For that reason, he plans to delay Lynch’s confirmation process until he has answers.

“There is a very credible whistleblower… who said folks at HSBC knew what was going on, actively were helping use fake bank accounts to help this happen on behalf of drug cartels and terrorists,” Vitter told the Judiciary Committee earlier today.

“That’s pretty serious to end up having a resolution with a pure money fine.”

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Obama’s EPA Paid 8 Employees $1 Million To Do Nothing

Taxpayers Paid 8 EPA Employees $1 Million To Do Nothing – Washington Free Beacon

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) kept employees on paid administrative leave for years, costing taxpayers more than $1 million.

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An “Early Warning” report released by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Wednesday revealed that eight employees racked up 20,926 hours of paid administrative leave, including some employees who were paid not to work for four years.

The eight employees cost taxpayers $1,096,868 alone. The report is in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis released last month that found government-wide paid administrative leave cost $3.1 billion from 2011 and 2013.

The GAO report detailed that the EPA paid 69 employees to not work for 4,711 days between 2011 and 2013, costing $17,550,100.

The OIG analyzed paid leave for this year, focusing on eight employees who took the most paid leave. Half of the employees were on paid administrative leave for more than a year, including one EPA employee who was paid from May 2010 until September 2014, costing taxpayers $351,300.

The amount of paid leave taken by these employees may be higher, the OIG said, since several were missing timesheets during their period of paid leave.

The OIG report was categorized as addressing the goal of “Embracing EPA as a high-performing organization.”

The EPA allows for paid administrative leave for voting, funerals, donating blood, and bad weather. However, all eight employees were on paid administrative leave for at least four months.

The EPA’s leave manual offers no determination for what is considered an “acceptable amount of administrative leave.”

The OIG pointed out that employees could be placed on long-term paid leave for disciplinary reasons.

“The leave manual also provides that one authorized use of administrative leave is when an employee’s removal or indefinite suspension is proposed, and the employee’s continued presence at the work site during the notice period would constitute a threat to public property or the health and safety of coworkers or the public.”

The EPA has had to deal with employees who have threatened the work environment for their fellow workers before.

The OIG presented its findings to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Oct. 30, and the agency is currently reviewing background information on the employees in question.

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Socialist Party Demands $20 Minimum Wage, But Insists It Shouldn’t Have To Pay Its Employees $20 An Hour

Socialist Party Demanding $20 Minimum Wage Insists It Should Not Be Subject To $20 Minimum Wage – Daily Caller

The socialist party in Seattle that wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $20 per hour but advertised a job last week for an experienced web developer paying just $13 per hour is now defending itself.

The Huffington Post, which was sued by a bunch of unpaid bloggers after founder Arianna Huffington sold the website for $315 million, has the story.

The argument from the Freedom Socialist Party is that it cannot afford the minimum wage it seeks to impose on every commercial entity in America.

Doug Barnes, the Freedom Socialist Party’s national secretary, claimed that the collectivist political organization shouldn’t be subject to its own wage demands because it is a nonprofit that receives revenue from leftist contributors.

“We’re practicing what we’re preaching in terms of continuing to fight for the minimum wage,” Barnes told the HuffPo. “But we can’t pay a lot more than $13.”

Barnes also suggested that the Freedom Socialist Party would make more money off the backs of the low-wage workers he claims make many contributions if the federal government or state governments forced businesses to pay employees a minimum of $20 per hour.

“Our donor base would all be affected, and the low-wage workers who support us with $5 to $6 a month would be able to give more,” he told HuffPo. “That would affect our ability to pay higher wages as well.”

He noted that he personally supports a $22 per hour minimum wage.

According to his Facebook page, Barnes is a graduate of the Evergreen State College.

His Facebook “likes” include Occupy Seattle, Syrian Revolution Support Bases, El Centro de la Raza, Mumia Abu Jamal and Bay Area Radical Women.

Despite his spirited defense of the help wanted ad, Barnes added that the Freedom Socialist Party has since removed its ad from both Indeed.com and Craigslist.

“The right-wing attack is very hypocritical,” the socialist – who wants a $20 minimum wage but has sought a $13-per-hour web developer – lamented.

The Daily Caller predicted such an outcome, by the way, and saved a screenshot of the ad as it appeared at Indeed.com. You can see it below.

In 2012, the Freedom Socialist Party’s national platform championed “full employment” and an increase in the minimum wage “to $20 an hour” for all employees in all jobs.

The Freedom Socialist Party’s 2012 political platform also demanded a 70 percent tax rate for “the top 1 percent”; “free multi-lingual public education, including ethnic studies, through college and trade school”; free abortions; bank nationalization; and the cancellation of all free-trade treaties.

Despite last week’s offer of a part-time, 20-hour-per-week, $13-per-hour job, the party also called for a 30-hour work week for everyone “with no cut in pay” and “a guaranteed annual income.”

A part-time web developer making $13 per hour and working 20 hours per week would bring home about $13,600 annually, before taxes.

The Seattle headquarters of the Freedom Socialist Party appears to be located in an apartment building directly across the street from a Bank of America branch.

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Leftist Corruption Update: Obama’s IRS Says It Has Lost Emails From 5 More Employees (Video)

IRS Says It Has Lost Emails From 5 More Employees – Big Government

The IRS says it has lost emails from five more workers who are part of congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax exempt status.

The tax agency said in June that it could not locate an untold number of emails to and from Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. The revelation set off a new round of investigations and congressional hearings.

On Friday, the IRS said it has also lost emails from five other employees related to the probe, including two agents who worked in a Cincinnati office processing applications for tax-exempt status.

The agency blamed computer crashes for the lost emails. In a statement, the IRS said it found no evidence that anyone deliberately destroyed evidence.

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Study: Half Of American Public School Employees Are Non-Teachers

Maybe Johnny Can’t Read Because These Workers Crowd Out Teachers – Daily Signal

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Half of America’s public school employees aren’t classroom teachers, according to a new study. Instead, they’re non-teaching personnel such as instructional aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, secretaries, and librarians.

It hasn’t always been this way.

The study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a nonprofit think tank specializing in education policy, found that the number of non-teaching staff grew by 130 percent from 1970 to 2010. Their salaries and benefits account for one-quarter of current education spending.

To show where each state is on the spectrum between least and most non-teaching personnel per 1,000 students, Fordham created this map:

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So why are non-teachers on the rise? The Fordham Institute left that up to school district and state education officials to explain.

By using national, state, and local data, though, “The Hidden Half: School Employees Who Don’t Teach” attempts to draw attention to what some education experts consider an alarming trend.

By a wide margin, Nevada and South Carolina public schools had the fewest non-teaching workers per 1,000 students, at 26 and 28 respectively, the study found. Virginia, Vermont, and Wyoming had the most at 104, as the chart below shows.

Lindsey Burke, the Will Skillman Fellow in education policy at The Heritage Foundation, argues for reducing the number of non-instructional and administrative positions in public schools:

States should consider cutting costs in areas that are long overdue for reform and pursue systemic reform to improve student achievement. Specifically, states should refrain from continuing to increase the number of non-teaching staff in public schools.

Michael Petrilli, president of the Fordham Institute, told The Daily Signal that the results of the study should encourage policymakers to “raise tough questions about whether these trends are helping or hurting children.”

Among the most significant findings of “The Hidden Half’,” the authors say in a release on the study:

Since 1950, school staffing has increased nearly 500 percent, and non-teaching personnel played a major part in that growth. Passage of several pieces of federal legislation – Section 504, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, and Title IX (Equal Opportunity in Education Act) – likely were instrumental in changing the makeup of schools.

America spends far more on non-teaching staff (as a percentage of education spending) than do most of the nation’s economic peers in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The U.S. spends more than double what Korea, Mexico, Finland, Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg, Austria, and Spain do. Only Denmark spends more.

States vary in staffing their schools, but much of the variation is because of differences within their borders. States with a large proportion of the population living in cities tend to have fewer workers per student. (See chart below.)

The category of teacher aides has been the largest gainer over the past 40 years. From 1970 to 2010, aides went from nearly non-existent to the largest group of workers other than teachers.

School districts vary greatly in number of employees, but the differences likely stem from staffing decisions made by leaders. Although factors such as location (rural, suburban, urban) and number of students in special education matter, they don’t explain most of the variation across school districts.

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Leftist Corruption Update: Lois Lerner Warned IRS Employees To Hide Information From Congress

GOP: Lerner Warned IRS Employees To Hide Information From Congress – Washington Times

Just as the IRS tea party targeting scandal was erupting, Lois G. Lerner warned colleagues to “be cautious” about what information they put in emails because it could end up being turned over to Congress, according to an email message released Wednesday.

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The 2013 email exchange between Ms. Lerner and fellow employees at the Internal Revenue Service also says that instant message conversations were probably never stored and weren’t checked during open-records requests – even though they also fell under the law requiring electronic records to be stored.

“I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails — so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails,” Ms. Lerner wrote in an April 9, 2013, message.

She went on to ask whether the instant message communications were stored automatically. When a tech staffer said no but the records could be stored if employees copied them, she replied, “Perfect.”

“Why did it take us this long to get these emails? We’ve been after this for six months,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who raised the emails with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen at a hearing Wednesday.

Mr. Jordan said the emails were part of a pattern of Ms. Lerner trying to hide her activities, following on the crash of her computer hard drive two years earlier, which erased thousands of messages.

Mr. Koskinen said he hadn’t seen the email before but questioned the connections Mr. Jordan was drawing.

“I don’t see anything in here where Lois Lerner says, ‘Wow, I got rid of my earlier emails and now I’ve got to check on it,’” the commissioner said.

Ms. Lerner’s email warning to colleagues to be careful about what they said in electronic communications issued less than two weeks after the IRS internal auditor shared a draft report with the agency accusing it of targeting tea party and other conservative groups.

A month after the email, Ms. Lerner would plant a question at a conference to reveal the scandal, just before the inspector general’s report was made public.

Ms. Lerner’s email was turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week, more than a year after lawmakers sought it as part of their investigation into the IRS targeting.

Republicans said the email shows Ms. Lerner was aware that Congress was investigating the agency and that she was preparing to intentionally hide agency discussions from lawmakers.

Ms. Lerner’s email record has become a major scandal in and of itself after the IRS revealed that her computer hard drive crashed in 2011, causing the agency to lose thousands of her messages.

The IRS tried to recover some of the messages by asking others on the email chain to dig through their mailboxes, but the agency acknowledged that some messages may be permanently lost.

Some Republicans have questioned whether the IRS took enough steps to try to recover the emails from the hard drive in 2011.

The head of the National Archives testified to Congress that the IRS likely broke federal records laws by not storing Ms. Lerner’s emails properly.

IRS policy was to print out emails that constituted official records, but it’s unclear whether that ever happened.

Mr. Koskinen testified to Congress that he believed Ms. Lerner had printed out some emails. But Ms. Lerner’s attorney, William W. Taylor III, told the Politico online magazine that she didn’t know she was required print out emails and therefore did not do so.

On Wednesday, Mr. Taylor released a statement saying that “is not entirely accurate” and blamed a “misunderstanding.”

“During her tenure as director of Exempt Organizations, she did print out some emails, although not every one of the thousands she sent and received,” Mr. Taylor said.

“The facts are that Ms. Lerner did not destroy any records subject to the Federal Records Act, she did not cause the computer assigned to her to fail, and she made every effort to recover the files on the computer,” the lawyer said.

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Leftist Nightmare Update: Obamacare Contractor Pays Employees To Do Nothing (Video)

Obamacare Contractor Pays Employees To Spend Their Days Doing Nothing – Weekly Standard

An eye-opening report from KMOV about an Obamacare contractor using taxpayer dollars to pay their employees to spend all day doing nothing:

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“A billion dollar government contract involving hundreds of local workers at an Obamacare processing center… But now employees on the inside are stepping forward, asking, Is this why we’re broke? Some of them claim to spend most of their day doing nothing,” reports a local St. Louis reporter.

The contractor is called Serco and local reporter discovered that, despite there not being any work to be done, the government contractor is still hiring.

“The company is still hiring,” says a local reporter. “A current employee wonders why… After providing proof of employment, this Serco employee agreed to speak through the phone with their voice altered. The employee says hundreds of employees spend much of the day staring at computer screens, with little or no work to do.”

The reporter asks the employee, “Are there some days where a data entry person may not process one single application?”

“There are weeks when a data entry person would not process an application,” the employee responds.

The reporter explains, “The facility is one of three Serco locations that process paper applications, people seeking to qualify for insurance.”

“It’s no secret, the rollout for the website was a mess. But now that the website is running, this employee says the paper applications are trickling in less and less. Our employee doesn’t appear to be the only one complaining. On April 16, a person claiming to be a former Serco employee posted this online, ‘This place is a JOKE. There’s nothing to do-NO WORK.'”

The reporter adds, “Our employee says every person who works here is happy to have a job, and wants to work hard. But frustration is mounting. Serco’s contract is worth upwards of $1.2 billion.”

The anonymous employee says the contract gets paid by the federal government per employee hired. Which is why it’s in their interest to have a bunch of employees sitting around all day doing nothing.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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IRS Gave Performance Awards To More Than 2,800 Employees With Conduct Issues Like Tax Evasion

More Than 2,800 IRS Workers With Conduct Issues Received Performance Awards – The Foundry

As the Internal Revenue Service grapples with budget cuts, a newly reported audit reveals the federal tax collection agency doled out bonuses and other rewards to more than 2,800 workers who had conduct and tax-evasion issues.

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The audit – issued March 21 by an IRS watchdog agency, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) – showed that between October 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012, the IRS gave out more than $2.8 million in monetary awards, 27,000 hours in time-off awards, and 175 other awards to employees who had tax compliance problems and other work issues.

“With few exceptions, the IRS does not consider tax compliance or other misconduct when issuing performance awards or most other types of awards,” TIGTA stated, noting the audit was part of new federal guidelines that require agencies to reduce spending on awards programs.

“Thus, while not specifically prohibited, providing awards to employees with conduct issues, especially those who fail to pay [f]ederal taxes, appears to create a conflict with the IRS’ charge of ensuring the integrity of system of tax administration,” the audit added.

Overall in fiscal year 2012, the IRS gave out $86 million in cash awards and almost 490,000 hours of time-off awards to 67,870 of its approximately 98,000 employees, the report found.

In a written statement to USA Today, David Krieg, the agency’s chief human capital officer, responded: “We take seriously our unique role as the nation’s tax administrator, and we will strive to implement a policy that protects the integrity of the tax administration system and the reputation of the service.”

While the audit revealed that the IRS, for the most part, complied with federal requirements to limit its awards spending, this issue is yet another eyesore for an agency that has been charged with corruption for targeting Tea Party groups and wasting $4.1 million in taxpayer funds on a lavish conference that included $64,000 in free “swag” for attendees.

Republican lawmakers, such as Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Ted Cruz (Texas), took to Twitter today to call the audit results “total absurdity” and “disturbing.”

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VA Employees Destroyed Veterans’ Medical Records To Cancel Backlogged Exam Requests (Audio)

Department Of Veterans Affairs Employees Destroyed Veterans’ Medical Records To Cancel Backlogged Exam Requests – Daily Caller

Employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) destroyed veterans’ medical files in a systematic attempt to eliminate backlogged veteran medical exam requests, a former VA employee told The Daily Caller.

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Audio of an internal VA meeting obtained by TheDC confirms that VA officials in Los Angeles intentionally canceled backlogged patient exam requests.

“The committee was called System Redesign and the purpose of the meeting was to figure out ways to correct the department’s efficiency. And one of the issues at the time was the backlog,” Oliver Mitchell, a Marine veteran and former patient services assistant in the VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center, told TheDC.

“We just didn’t have the resources to conduct all of those exams. Basically we would get about 3,000 requests a month for [medical] exams, but in a 30-day period we only had the resources to do about 800. That rolls over to the next month and creates a backlog,” Mitchell said. ”It’s a numbers thing. The waiting list counts against the hospitals efficiency. The longer the veteran waits for an exam that counts against the hospital as far as productivity is concerned.”

By 2008, some patients were “waiting six to nine months for an exam” and VA “didn’t know how to address the issue,” Mitchell said.

VA Greater Los Angeles Radiology department chief Dr. Suzie El-Saden initiated an “ongoing discussion in the department” to cancel exam requests and destroy veterans’ medical files so that no record of the exam requests would exist, thus reducing the backlog, Mitchell said.

Audio from a November 2008 meeting obtained by TheDC depicts VA Greater Los Angeles officials plotting to cancel backlogged exam requests.

“I’m still canceling orders from 2001,” said a male official in the meeting.

“Anything over a year old should be canceled,” replied a female official.

“Canceled or scheduled?” asked the male official.

“Canceled… Your backlog should start at April ’07,” the female official replied, later adding, ”a lot of those patients either had their studies somewhere else, had their surgery… died, don’t live in the state… It’s ridiculous.”

Listen:

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El-Saden, according to Mitchell, was “the person who said destroy the records.” And her plan was actually carried out during the Obama administration’s management of VA.

“That actually happened,” Mitchell said. “We had that discussion in November 2008 and then in March 2009 they started to delete the exams. Once you cancel or delete an order it automatically cancels out that record” so that no record of the exam requests remained.

Mitchell tried to blow the whistle on the scheme and ended up being transferred out of his department and eventually losing his job.

“I actually filed a complaint with the VA [Inspector General] IG and the office of special counsel. The IG requested if I had any documentation. They wanted names. I gave them [about] a thousand names,” Mitchell said. ”The list I turned into the IG went all the way back to 1997.”

“I filed the initial complaint with the IG… The IG instead of doing their own investigation just gave it to the facility and made them aware of my complaint.”

Mitchell eventually wrote to Congress about the issue in January 2011. Two months later, in March 2011, he was fired.

Mitchell received an April 30, 2013 letter from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel stating that OIG found in November 2009 that “all imaging services across the country were instructed to mass purge all outstanding imaging orders for studies older than six months, where the procedure was no longer needed” and that “patient imaging requests found to still be valid were scheduled… Approval was granted for this process by the MEC [Medical Executive Committee], and in collaboration with the Service Chiefs and/or Careline Directors within the health-care system.”

But Mitchell said that in Los Angeles, exam requests that were found to still be needed were “definitely” destroyed.

“The IG’s report said this was a nationwide issue, but I know when we were having our meeting we weren’t talking nationwide – we were talking about our department,” Mitchell said.

“It is the general policy of OSC not to transmit an allegation of wrongdoing to the head of the agency involved, where the agency’s OIG or its delegate, is currently investigating or has investigated, the same allegations. Consequently, this office will take no further action concerning this allegation,” according to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel letter.

“That was an excuse” and part of a “cover-up,” Mitchell said.

“I’ve actually filed a lawsuit against them” for wrongful termination and another complaint, Mitchell said. “I filed it in district court in August of last year. It was accepted in September. The court dismissed it and wants me to amend the complaint with additional facts. I’m turning that in this week.”

VA did not return repeated requests for comment. The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System did not return a request for comment and for an interview with Dr. El-Saden.

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Survey: Obamacare Forcing 44% Of U.S. Firms To Consider Cutting Employees’ Health Care

Duke University: 44% Of U.S. Firms Consider Cutting Health Care To Current Workers – Washington Examiner

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Adding to a devastating CBO report of how Obamacare could damage the economy, a Duke University survey of top companies found that 44 percent are considering reducing health benefits to current employees due to Obamacare, confirming the fears of millions of American workers.

In its December survey of chief financial officers around the country, Duke also found that nearly half are “reluctant to hire full-time employers because of the Affordable Care Act.”

And 40 percent are considering shifting to part-time workers and others will hire fewer workers of fire some to avoid the costs of the program.

What’s more, they said in the study, “One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.”

Without the law, the CFOs told Duke that they would hire more full-time workers.

The survey adds to the Congressional Budget Office’s study in raising new questions about the economic impact of Obamacare. Both give Republicans ammunition to continue their efforts to repeal the program that has upset how millions of Americans get health insurance. The survey was initially released in December and re-released Wednesday to provide context to the CBO report.

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Professor Campbell R. Harvey said that the school’s survey shows that the economic hit the CBO warned of will be worse.

“Our survey shows that the situation is much more serious because employers tell us that they will choose not to hire and may lay people off,” he said. “I doubt the advocates of this legislation anticipated the negative impact on employment. The impact on the real economy is astonishing. Nearly one-third of firms may either terminate employees or hire fewer people in the future as a direct result of ACA.”

His colleague John Graham said in a statement promoting the survey, “An unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act will be a reduction in full-time employment growth in the United States. Companies plan to increase full-time employment by 1.4 percent in 2014, a rate of growth which is down from last quarter and unlikely to put a dent in the unemployment rate, assuming that the labor force participation rate remains constant. CFOs indicate that full-time employment growth would be stronger in the absence of the ACA.”

See the full survey here.

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*VIDEO* Psycho Bitch From Hell Attacks McDonald’s Employees Because They Don’t Sell McNuggets In The Morning


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IRS Employees Ordered To Send Tea Party Cases To IRS’s Only Obama Political Appointee

IRS Employees Ordered To Send Tea Party Cases To IRS’s Only Obama Political Appointee – CNS

IRS employees were ordered by their superiors – including Lois Lerner who pleaded the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination rather than testify in Congress – to send certain Tea Party tax-exemption applications to the office of the IRS’s Chief Counsel, which was headed by William Wilkins, who at that time was the only Obama political appointee at the IRS, according to a letter released today by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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“As a part of this ongoing investigation, the Committees have learned that the IRS Chief Counsel’s office in Washington, D.C. has been closely involved in some of the applications,” reads a letter released today by the House committees on Oversight and Government and Ways and Means. “Its involvement and demands for information about political activity during the 2010 election cycle appear to have caused systematic delays in the processing of Tea Party applications.”

It further states, “[B]ased on his decades of experience, [career IRS official Carter Hull] determined he had enough facts to make recommendations whether to approve or deny the applications… However, Mr. Hull’s recommendations were not carried out. Instead, according to Michael Seto, the head of Mr. Hull’s unit in Washington, Lois Lerner instructed that the Tea Party applications go through a multi-layer review that included her senior advisor and the Chief Counsel’s office.”

Wilkins, the IRS chief counsel, had been appointed by President Obama to his position in 2009, and was one of only two politically appointed officials at the IRS. The other employee was IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, a Bush appointee. Shulman was commissioner from March 2008 to November 2012. He was followed Steve Miller, who was appointed acting commissioner by Obama and served until May 2013. The current acting commissioner is Daniel Werfel, appointed by Obama in May.

The nine-page letter was sent to IRS Principal Deputy Commissioner Daniel Werfel and was signed by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrel Issa (R-Calif.), Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Way and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.).

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IRS official Lois Lerner is sworn in on Capitol Hill on May 22, 2013, before a House Oversight Committee hearing, where she pleaded the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The letter is based upon interviews by the Committees of several long-term IRS employees, including Carter Hull, a tax-law specialist and 501c(4) expert with 48 years of experience at the IRS, according to the letter. From his interview, “the Committees were informed that Tea Party applications under his review were, in an unusual turn of events, referred to the Chief Counsel’s office for further review at the direction of Lois Lerner, the head of the Exempt Organizations division. The IRS Chief Counsel is one of two politically appointed officials in the agency.”

Hull is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Thursday, July 18, along with several other IRS employees cited in today’s letter.

Back in April 2010, according to the letter, Hull was instructed by his superiors to analyze several Tea Party tax-exemption applications as “test” cases to determine the best way for the IRS, as Hull explained, to “approach these organizations, and how [the IRS] should handle them.”

Hull sent development letters to the Tea Party groups requesting additional information, gathered and analyzed the data, and then concluded he had enough facts to make a decision on whether the groups had engaged in a permissible amount of political activity.

“However, Mr. Hull’s recommendations were not carried,” states the letter. Instead, as the head of Hull’s unit in Washington, D.C., Michael Seto, related, Lois Lerner “sent me an email saying that when these cases need to go through multi-tire review and they will eventually have to go [through her staff] and the chief counsel’s office.”

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……………IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkens. (Photo: IRS)

Hull also told the committees that Lerner’s senior adviser instructed him in the winter of 2010-2011 that the IRS Chief Counsel’s office would have to review the applications. Hull stated this was the first time in his career he had been told to send applications to Lerner’s senior adviser. As the committee reported:

Q: “Have you ever sent a case to [the senior adviser to Ms. Lerner] before?”

Hull: “Not to my knowledge.”

Q: “This is the only case you remember?”

Hull: “Uh-huh.”

Q: “Correct?”

Hull: “This is the only case I remember sending directly to [ the senior adviser to Ms. Lerner].”

Q: “Did [the senior adviser to Ms. Lerner] indicate to you whether she agreed with your recommendations?”

Hull: “She did not say whether she agreed or not. She said it should go through the Chief Counsel.”

Q: “The IRS Chief Counsel?”

Hull: “The IRS Chief Counsel.”

The letter from the Committees to Werfel goes on to state that after a “substantial delay,” the Chief Counsel’s office finally met with Hull, with Lerner’s senior adviser, and with other Washington officials “to discuss these test case applications.”

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………….Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel (AP Photo)

“During the intervening months, these applications lingered,” states the letter. Three years after Hull had been instructed to review the Tea Party applications, he told the Committees that he did not know whether those applications were still open or closed.

Hull’s superviser, Ronald Shoemaker, also was interviewed by the Committees. He stated that from that August 2011 meeting, the Chief Counsel’s office was still seeking more information about the Tea Party applicants’ political activities, specifically activities “leading up to the 2010 election.”

In that election, the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives and a Republican, John Boehner of Ohio, became the new Speaker.

As Shoemaker recounted to the Committees’ staff, the Chief Counsel’s office “indicated that they wanted more development of possible political activity or political intervention right before the election period; that that had not occurred and that that’s what was missing… [R]ight before the election period. In other words, immediately before.”

The letter to Werfel says, “the lengthy and unusual review of the test applications in Washington created a bottleneck and caused the delay of other Tea Party applications in Cincinnati. Indeed, multiple IRS employees in Cincinnati have told the Committee they were waiting on guidance from Washington on how to move the applications forward.”

Cindy Thomas, head of the IRS Cincinnati office, repeatedly asked officials in Washington, D.C. for guidance on the applications but did not receive definitive responses.

As the Committees’ interview reports:

Q: “So the cases that [Cincinnati employee] was working from October 2010 through September 2011 were still in kind of a holding pattern awaiting guidance from Washington? Is that right?”

Thomas: “That’s correct.”

Q: “And were there additional applications that were coming at this time?”

Thomas: “To my knowledge, yes.”

Q: “And those were also in a holding pattern?”

Thomas: “that’s correct.”

Q: “Pending guidance from Washington?”

Thomas: “That’s correct.”

In conclusion, the letter from the Committees to the IRS’s Werfel requests further documents and communications between or among employees of the IRS’s Chief Counsel’s office, the Treasury Department’s General Counsel’s office, and the Executive Office of the President between Feb. 1, 2010 and the present concerning all tax-exempt applications.

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Corruption Update: IRS Paying More Than 200 Employees To Work For Public Labor Union

IRS Paying Over 200 Employees To Work Full-Time For Labor Union – National Review

The Internal Revenue Service pays over 200 full-time employees not to conduct audits or process tax returns but to work for a federal employees’ union, according to documents released by the agency in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the advocacy group Americans for Limited Government. Forty-three of those employees are earning six-figure salaries, the documents show.

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Oddly, the employees working for the National Treasury Employees Union have titles that suggest they perform work in behalf of the American taxpayer, among them “Tax Examining Technician,” “Internal Revenue Agent,” and “Tax Specialist.”

Known as “official time,” the practice is perfectly legal as a result of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. It continues even as the IRS faces financial woes – due to the sequester, the agency has been forced to close its doors on five days and has also requested more money for its operating budget from Congress.

This is not sitting right with two Republican senators, who sent a letter to the IRS’s acting administrator, Danny Werfel, requesting more information on the practice, including how employee performance is evaluated.

“While the IRS continues to request more funding to further close the more than 14.5 percent tax gap, especially under the current budget crunch and sequestration, it makes little sense to use taxpayer resources to pay for union work,” Tom Coburn and Phil Gingrey wrote Werfel, whom President Obama appointed to head the agency in mid May after disclosures that it had targeted tea-party groups. “This kind of practice takes place only in the government – in the private sector, union work and staff are paid for by union dues,” the senators said.

Gingrey is also trying to put an end to “official time” altogether by repealing the portion of the 1978 law that allows it, but his bill, introduced in January, remains in committee. The IRS had no immediate comment on Monday afternoon.

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