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SMIDGEN REPORT: IRS Reports NEW Round of Computer Crashes

Lerner as she takes her seat before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

“There is an issue as to whether or not there is a ‑‑ that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the 6‑month retention schedule.”

– IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane

For The Daily CallerPatrick Howley reports: IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total SMIDG-LRGnumber of crash victims to “less than 20,” and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are stillbacked up somewhere.

“So some of those backup tapes may still exist?”

– Investigator

“I don’t know whether they are or they aren’t, but it’s an issue that’s being looked at.”

– Kane

Read the rest of this entry »

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This Day In History: July 21, 1925: Scopes Found Guilty in ‘Monkey Trial’

scopes1925

On this day in 1925, a Tennessee high school science teacher, John Thomas Scopes, was found guilty for allegedly teaching evolution, which violated Tennessee state law. The Scopes Trial, known as the “Monkey Trial,” lasted only a week, but ignited conversation and debate over whether to teach Creation or Evolution in the classroom.e_drugstore

The court acquitted Scopes on a technicality but upheld the constitutionality of the state law which was eventually overturned in 1967.

[Explore American Experience’s timeline of the Scopes “Monkey” Trial]

Image:  John Thomas Scopes, Library of Congress.

 

Read the rest of this entry »


Good News For Smokers: Your Life is Worth Billions and Billions and Billions of Dollars

"Wow, I'm going to take up smoking again"

“Wow, I’m going to take up smoking again”

Jury Awards Widow $23.6 Billion in Florida Smoking Case

For the NY Times reports: A jury in northwestern Florida awarded a staggering $23 billion judgment late Friday against the country’s second-largest tobacco company for causing the death of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer at the age of 36.GPO14-Approved-Vintage

“When they first read the verdict, I know I heard ‘million,’ and I got so excited. Then the attorney informed me that was a ‘B’ — billion. It was just unbelievable.”

The company, the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, promised a prompt appeal.

Michael Johnson Sr. died in 1996 after smoking for more than 20 years. In 2006, his widow, Cynthia Robinson, of Pensacola, sued R. J. Reynolds the maker of the Kool brand cigarettes her husband had smoked, arguing that the company had deliberately concealed the health hazards its product caused.

“He really did smoke a lot.”

The four-week trial ended Wednesday. The jury deliberated for 18 hours over two days, first awarding $17 million in compensatory damages and then emerging at 10 p.m. Friday with a $23.6 billion punitive judgment. Read the rest of this entry »


DOJ Investigating Missing IRS Emails

SMG-HT-LRGWASHINGTON (AP/ Breitbart) reports: The Justice Department is investigating the circumstances behind the disappearance of emails from a former senior Internal Revenue Service official, part of a broader criminal inquiry into whether the agency had targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, according to congressional testimony released Wednesday.

In a statement to be delivered to a congressional committee on Thursday, Deputy Attorney General James Cole says investigators are looking into emails that went missing from the computer of Lois Lerner.

Cole was to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been investigating the matter. He declined to provide additional information about the investigation, according to prepared remarks issued ahead of his appearance.

The IRS has said it lost the emails in 2011 when Lerner’s computer crashed. At the time, Lerner headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. Read the rest of this entry »


A Message from Bill Clinton

Clinton-Bets


Dept. of Double Standards: Why does Google Image Search List Greta Van Sustren as a ‘TV Personality’ and Megyn Kelly as a ‘Television Actor’?

A Law Degree and a Cup of Coffee…

Extra CreditInternet Movie Database‘s list of Acting appearances featuring ‘Television Actor’ Megyn KellyZero

kelly-acting!-self

 


Sacré Bleu! French Blogger Fined for Bitching Online About Restaurant Food & Service

Critique de Restaurant: Blogueuse Condamnée
'The Place to be Avoided at Cap-Ferret'

What is perverse, is that we look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people.”

— Caroline Doudet, Blogger

For arretsurimages.netVincent Coquaz reports:

– Translated from French via Google Translate –

“New: restaurants continue their customers who dare to criticize I must say they are the judges to prove them right.”. The lawyer-blogger Maître Eolas was surprised last night of the decision of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Bordeaux on June 30, which condemned referred blogger “The Irregular” € 1500 as a provision on damages 1000 € of costs of proceedings (Article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure) for a review of a restaurant in Cap Ferret (33).

[A better analysis of this at The Corner by National Review's Ian Tuttle  - "French Court Criminalizes Food Critic’s Google Success"]

This restaurant had just enjoyed a post “The Irregular” titled “The place to be avoided at Cap-Ferret” followed by the name of the institution (the article has since been removed but is still available in the cache here) published in August 2013, and appeared on the first page of Google when you typed the name of the restaurant.

[Also see - "French blogger fined over review's Google search placing" - BBC News]

‘The Place to be Avoided at Cap-Ferret’ 

The paper lamented including disruption of service in the institution and the attitude of the owner of the premises, described as a “diva”. “All that for two appetizers … take what wars” concluded the post with reference to a dark history of appetizers arrived at the same time as the main course (the blogger had therefore returned). Read the rest of this entry »


Apple agrees to $400 million settlement in ebook price-fixing case

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Apple has agreed to an approximately $400 million settlement as part of the high-profile ebook pricing fixing case in federal court that would cover  consumer consumer damages and civil penalties for the 33 states involved.  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman made an announcement today detailing the settlement that was also discovered in documents filed with the courts. Schneiderman noted the amount that Apple will ultimately pay of the $400 million settlement will depend on the outcome of  Apple’s still pending appeal of “the court’s July 2013 finding that Apple violated antitrust laws by orchestrating a conspiracy with five publishers to artificially raise E-book prices.”:

View original 304 more words


‘Sugar Baby’ Escort Alix Tichelman Pleads Not Guilty in Google Exec’s Heroin Death

Alix Tichelman, left, of Folsom, Calif., confers with public defender Diane August during her arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Tichelman, an alleged upscale prostitute, is facing manslaughter charges for the November 2013 death of Forrest Hayes, a Google executive. Tichelman, who is also facing drug and prostitution charges, is being held on $1.5 million bail. Photo: Shmuel Thaler, AP

Alix Tichelman, left, of Folsom, Calif., confers with public defender Diane August during her arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Tichelman, an alleged upscale prostitute, is facing manslaughter charges for the November 2013 death of Forrest Hayes, a Google executive. Tichelman, who is also facing drug and prostitution charges, is being held on $1.5 million bail. Photo: Shmuel Thaler, AP

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — A high-priced prostitute accused of leaving a Google executive to die on his yacht in California after shooting him up with a fatal hit of heroin has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and heroin charges.

Twenty-six-year-old Alix Tichelman entered the plea on Wednesday in a Santa Cruz County courtroom. Prosecutors, additionally, Jonathan-Copsey-AP-Dean-Riopellecharged her with great bodily injury.

A judge refused to reduce her $1.5 million bail.

[The Black Widow of Silicon Valley: Alix Tichelman's Trail of Dead and Damaged Men]

Police say Tichelman did not help 51-year-old Forrest Hayes or call 911 as he went unconscious after she administered heroin to him.

[Last Taste of Sugar: Escort Charged in Google Executive's Fatal Heroin Overdose]

According to police, surveillance footage from the yacht shows Tichelman gather her belongings, including the heroin and needles, casually step over Hayes’ body to finish a glass of wine, clean up a counter, then lower a blind before leaving the yacht on Nov. 23.

[Hooker Business Booms in Silicon Valley]

Hayes was found the next day. Read the rest of this entry »


Stonewalling: White House Ignores Subpoena, Refuses to Send Witness to Congress, Yet Another Court Battle Ahead

white-house-horiz

The White House is refusing to allow political adviser David Simas to respond to a subpoena from House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa.

“Flouting a federal judge’s opinion about our system of checks and balances is yet another attack on our nation’s Constitution by this president.”

– Darrell Issa, in a statement late Tuesday night

National Review‘s John Fund reportsWhite House counsel W. Neil Eggleston says Issa has no power to compel Simas to testify at a hearing Wednesday morning about whether the office he runs has been engaged in improper political activity in violation of the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from such activities as campaign fundraising and explicit political support.

David Simas, right, in the White House last year. His new job is political director, and his goal is to help Democrats do well in political campaigns, even if it means violating the Hatch Act, because White House counsel W. Neil Eggleston believes Simas is immune from congressional process and can refuse to respond to subpoenas.  Doug Mills/The New York Times

David Simas, right, in the White House last year. His job is political director, and his goal is to help Democrats do well in political campaigns, even if it means violating the Hatch Act, because White House counsel believes Simas is immune from congressional process and can decline to respond to subpoenas. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Eggleston cited a new opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that cited precedents going back to Presidents Harry Truman and Richard Nixon of executive privilege being asserted against testimony by White House aides.

“This hearing seeks to examine a political office embedded within the White House which, under Democratic and Republican administrations, has had a controversial role of coordinating political campaign activity for the president at taxpayer expense.”

Issa responds that in a case brought by congressional Democrats in 2008 against the Bush White House, a federal judge found that the idea of absolute immunity of a White House official from a congressional subpoena was “unprecedented” and held that presidential aides are “not absolutely immune from congressional process.” Read the rest of this entry »


SMIDGEN REPORT: Tweets from FEC Employee who Admitted to Violating Hatch Act Prior to Hard Drive Being Recycled


SMIDGEN UPDATE: Lois Lerner’s Former FEC Colleague Has Emails Go Missing Too

Shulman looks on as Lerner delivers an opening statement to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Washington

The Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross reports that the Federal Election Commission recycled the computer hard drive of April Sands — a former co-worker of Lois Lerner’s — hindering an investigation into Sands’ partisan political activities, FEC-Atty_April-Sandsaccording to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“Dear every single Republican ever, When will U learn that Barack Hussein Obama is simply smarter than U? Stand down, Signed #Obama2012 #p2”

– April Sands, former co-worker of Lois Lerner

SMG-REPORTSands resigned from the Federal Election Commission in April after she admitted to violating the Hatch Act, which bars executive branch employees from engaging in partisan political activities on federal time and at federal facilities.

The twist is that Sands also worked under Lois Lerner when the ex-IRS agent — who is currently embroiled in a scandal over the targeting of conservative political groups — worked at the FEC’s enforcement division.

In a letter to FEC chairman Lee Goodman, Oversight chairman Darrell Issa and committee member Jim Jordan laid out Sands’ partisan activities and asked for records pertaining to the recycling of her hard drive and of the agency’s records retention policies.

“The bias in these messages is striking, especially for an attorney charged with the responsibility to enforce federal election laws fairly and dispassionately.”

– Oversight letter to Goodman

Sands took part in a heavily partisan online webcam discussion from FEC offices and also operated a Twitter account with the handle @ReignOfApril which were sent during Sands’ normal working hours. Read the rest of this entry »


SMIDGEN REPORT: GOP Rep Looks to Use Appropriations Bill to Curb Power of IRS

National Review OnlineSMDG-TV2‘s Eliana Johnson reports that the House of congress-repRepresentatives on Monday evening will begin considering a Financial Services appropriations bill that funds the Department of the Treasury, including the IRS.

Illinois representative Peter Roskam will attempt to use the legislature to curb the power of the agency, which has been under fire since it revealed in May 2013 that it inappropriately targeted conservative non-profit groups seeking tax exemption. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Lowry: Unless Obama Enforces Laws, No ‘Real Solution’ to Border Crisis

National Review Online


SMIDGEN REPORT: Andrew C. McCarthy’s ‘My So-Called Independent Counsel’

obama-holder-noJustice

Don’t hand the IRS investigation over to a special prosecutor.

Andrew C. McCarthy writes: 

“Let’s talk reality. As a matter of constitutional law, there is no such thing as an independent counsel. In our system, prosecution is a plenary executive power. All federal investigations and prosecutions proceed under the authority of the president; neither the Congress nor the courts have police powers. Any prosecutor, regardless of how “independent” we’d like him to be, would have to serve at the pleasure of the president, and would report to Eric Holder…” 

(read moreNational Review Online


Eric Holder Gets Serious About Priorities: Investigates Obama Outhouse Parade Float

Getty-Images-YouTube-screenshot-NewsNow

For The Daily Caller, Eric Owens reports: The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating a float that appeared at the annual Fourth of July parade in the small town of Norfolk, Neb. because the float featured a blue flatbed truck carrying a zombie-looking mannequin in overalls on the door of an outhouse labeled “OBAMA PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY.”

“We don’t feel its right to tell someone what they can and can’t express.”

– Parade committee member Rick Konopasek

[Also see - Eric Holder’s Animus towards His Critics]

The Justice Department sent a member of its Community Relations Service team to Norfolk (pronounced “Norfork” by many locals), reports the Omaha World-Herald.

“I’m angry and I’m scared. This float was not just political; this was absolutely a racial statement.”

– Glory Kathurima, apparently unaware that Bush was routinely mocked exactly the same way

The Community Relations Service team investigates disputes concerning discrimination.

[RELATED: Obama Outhouse Parade Float Infuriates Nebraska Woman]

 [Also see - Nov. 29, 2006 political cartoon by famed Atlanta Journal-Constitution cartoonist Mike Luckovich depicting an outhouse with a wooden sign out front “Bush Presidential Library.”

The Justice Department bureaucrat attended a meeting on Thursday about the float fracas. Also in attendance at the meeting were representatives of the NAACP, the town mayor and members of The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the group that organizes the yearly parade. Read the rest of this entry »


Eric Holder’s Distractions and Excuses

holder-mythology

Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday he and President Obama have been targets of “a racial animus” by some of the administration’s political opponents.

“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder told ABC. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.” (read more)

TheHill.com


Fund: Judges Ordering IRS Employees to Testify on Lerner E-mail Is ‘a Major Step Forward’

Via NRO staff:

National Review Online


Obama Seeks Brisk Passage of Border Children Funding Bill: Would Subsidize Schooling, Health Care, Lawyers for Illegal Immigrants

immigration-overload
Women from Honduras traveling with their children are stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Services agents after crossing the Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas. About 90 Hondurans a day cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico. (associated press) Photo by: Rodolfo Gonzalez

For the Washington TimesStephen Dinan reports: President Obama’s new border spending request will pay for schooling, health care and lawyers for the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children surging across the border, officials told Congress on Thursday as they pleaded for quick action on the $3.7 billion package.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Congress must approve the money this month, saying that if nothing is done before lawmakers leave for a monthlong August vacation, one of his agencies will have to cut its other immigration enforcement in order to hold and transport the children.

But Mr. Johnson and other officials faced bipartisan complaints that Mr. Obama’s plan is “incomplete.” Democrats said it fails to compensate local communities who are having to face the problem, while Republicans said Mr. Obama needs to spell out details of how he wants to change the law to make sure the children can be quickly deported.

“He needs to work with us to get the right policy into effect — not just throw money at the problem,” Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in the Senate, said on the chamber floor. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Nancy Pelosi’s Hysterical Court Ruling Demagoguery vs. Megyn Kelly

This week’s shameless bucket of foul Democratic campaign slop from Nancy Pelosi gave Hot Air‘s ALLAHPUNDIT  fits, like any sane person who had the misfortune of hearing even 15 seconds of Pelosi’s vile comments. In fact, some of us are still recovering from kaleidoscopic room-spinning nausea. Visit Hot Air‘s medicine cabinet.

In the meantime, here’s Megyn Kelly to the rescue:

“We should be afraid of this court. That five guys should start determining what contraceptions are legal or not. … It is so stunning,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. Pelosi said last week’s Supreme Court ruling that the birth control mandate under President Obama’s healthcare reform law is a violation of religious freedom was particularly egregious.

[Also see: Megyn Kelly: Nancy Pelosi guilty of sexism - Politico]

“That court decision was a frightening one,” she said. “That five men should get down to the specifics of whether a woman should use a diaphragm and she should pay for it herself or her boss. It’s not her boss’s business. His business is whatever his business is. But it’s not what contraception she uses.”

(read more) Hot Air


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