Now That Our False ‘Love, Mutual Respect, Equality’ Argument Has Achieved its Purpose, Let’s Dump it and Unveil Our True Agenda

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[TIME]


George F. Will: On Obamacare, John Roberts helps Overthrow the Constitution

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George F. Will writes: Conservatives are dismayed about the Supreme Court’s complicity in rewriting the Affordable Care Act — its ratification of the IRS’s disregard of the statute’s plain and purposeful language. But they have contributed to this outcome. Their decades of populist praise of judicial deference to the political branches has borne this sour fruit.

“Since the New Deal, courts have permitted almost any legislative infringement of economic liberty that can be said to have a rational basis. Applying this extremely permissive test, courts usually approve any purpose that a legislature asserts. Courts even concoct purposes that legislatures neglect to articulate.”

The court says the ACA’s stipulation that subsidies are to be administered by the IRS using exchanges “established by the State” should not be construed to mean what it says. Otherwise the law will not reach as far as it will if federal exchanges can administer subsidies in states that choose not to establish exchanges. The ACA’s legislative history, however, demonstrates that the subsidies were deliberately restricted to distribution through states’ exchanges in order to pressure the states into establishing their own exchanges.

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“The Roberts Doctrine facilitates what has been for a century progressivism’s central objective, the overthrow of the Constitution’s architecture. The separation of powers impedes progressivism by preventing government from wielding uninhibited power. Such power would result if its branches behaved as partners in harness rather than as wary, balancing rivals maintaining constitutional equipoise.”

The most durable damage from Thursday’s decision is not the perpetuation of the ACA, which can be undone by what created it — legislative action. The paramount injury is the court’s embrace of a duty to ratify and even facilitate lawless discretion exercised by administrative agencies and the executive branch generally.

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

The court’s decision flowed from many decisions by which the judiciary has written rules that favor the government in cases of statutory construction. The decision also resulted from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s embrace of the doctrine that courts, owing vast deference to the purposes of the political branches, are obligated to do whatever is required to make a law efficient, regardless of how the law is written. What Roberts does by way of, to be polite, creative construing (Justice Antonin Scaliadissenting, calls it “somersaults of statutory interpretation”) is legislating, not judging.

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” The paramount injury is the court’s embrace of a duty to ratify and even facilitate lawless discretion exercised by administrative agencies and the executive branch generally.”

Roberts writes, almost laconically, that the ACA “contains more than a few examples of inartful drafting.” That is his artful way of treating “inartful” as a synonym for “inconvenient” or even “self-defeating.”

Rolling up the sleeves of his black robe and buckling down to the business of redrafting the ACA, Roberts invents a corollary to “Chevron deference.”

Named for a 1984 case, Chevron deference has become central to the way today’s regulatory state functions. It says that agencies charged with administering statutes are entitled to deference when they interpret ambiguous statutory language. Read the rest of this entry »


THE SMIDGEN REPORT: IRS Workers ‘Mistakenly’ Erased Tea Party Emails

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IRS workers erased 422 computer backup tapes that ‘most likely’ contained as many as 24,000 emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner, who has emerged as a central figure in congressional investigations, according to IRS’s inspector general.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stephen Ohlemache reports: Investigators are blaming mistakes
smdg-tv2by IRS employees — not a criminal conspiracy — for the loss of thousands of emails related to the tax agency’s tea party scandal.

IRS workers erased 422 computer backup tapes that “most likely” contained as many as 24,000 emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner, who has emerged as a central
figure in congressional investigations, according to IRS’s inspector general.

The workers erased the tapes a month after IRS officials discovered that an untold number of Lerner’s emails were lost. The IG says the workers were unaware of a year-old directive not to destroy email backup tapes.

J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, is scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Oversight Committee about his investigation into the emails. The Associated Press obtained a copy of his prepared testimony.

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George says his investigation “did not uncover evidence that the erasure was done in
furtherance of an effort to destroy evidence or conceal information from Congress and/or
O-SMDGE-CONDENSEDlaw enforcement.”

Still, the revelation that computer tapes were erased after officials knew about the lost emails is likely to fuel conspiracy theories among conservatives who say the IRS has obstructed investigations into the scandal.

An IRS spokeswoman said Wednesday evening the agency had no immediate comment.

George set off a firestorm in May 2013 with an audit that said IRS agents improperly singled out tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.

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Several hundred groups had their applications delayed for a year or more. Some were asked inappropriate questions about donors and group activities, the inspector general’s report said.

Lerner used to head the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. In June 2014, the IRS told Congress it had lost an unknown number of Lerner’s emails when her computer hard drive crashed in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »


Records From Government Data Breach Surface on ‘Darknet’, Says Expert

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The darknet, the seedy underbelly of the Internet that search engines don’t plumb and only people with certain software can access, is a digital bazaar where everything from new identities, to a life-saving kidney, to credit card numbers and even the murder for hire, are for sale.

 reports: Government records stolen in a sweeping data breach that was reported last week are popping up for sale on the so-called “darknet,” according to a tech firm that monitors the private online network used by criminals and creeps throughout the world.

Credentials to log into the Office of Personnel Management are being offered just days after the announcement the agency’s records, including extremely personal information of 4.1 million federal government employees dating back to the 1980s, had been compromised, said Chris Roberts, founder and CTO of the Colorado-based
OneWorldLabs (OWL), a search engine that checks the darknet daily for data that could compromise security for its corporate and government clients, including government IDs and passwords.panic-hitchcock

” … the credentials and identities have been discovered online and are being traded actively.”

– Chris Roberts, OWL

“The recent OPM breach was identified, noted and the credentials and identities have been discovered online and are being traded actively,” said Roberts, who has been a consultant to a number of government agencies, but is currently at odds with the FBI over his reports, first published in Fox News, detailing the vulnerabilities of commercial airlines to cyber hacking. The FBI accused Roberts of hacking a commercial airplane, while Roberts claims he was simply trying to warn the government and industry of vulnerabilities.

“When these accounts are posted on the darker side of the net, they are usually ‘live’ and are part of a larger breach,” Roberts added. “They are typically parsed out and sold and distributed to interested parties, something OWL tracks.”

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“They can target Americans in their database for recruitment or influence. After all, they know their vices, every last one — the gambling habit, the inability to pay bills on time, the spats with former spouses, the taste for something sexual on the side perhaps with someone of a different gender than your normal partner — since all that is recorded in security clearance paperwork.”

The darknet, the seedy underbelly of the Internet that search engines don’t plumb and only people with certain software can access, is a digital bazaar where everything from new identities, to a life-saving kidney, to credit card panic-mannumbers and even the murder for hire, are for sale.

In addition to data from the OPM breach, Roberts said a new OWL search has uncovered another 9,500 government log-in credentials stolen this week from a variety of county, state and federal agencies across the nation, for everything from the Obamacare site, Healthcare.gov, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Court System to the Child Support agency and Unemployment Agency in Ohio.

Roberts sent a report to the FBI Tuesday, as soon as OWL discovered the data, because the information being sold could lead to more extensive government data breaches.

The frequent hacking of government databases – and the ease with which hackers can obtain log on credentials on the darknet — is having a tremendous impact on Americans across the nation and could impact our national security, experts said. Read the rest of this entry »


SMIDGEN REPORT SPECIAL UPDATE: IRS Created ‘Special Project Team’ of ‘Hundreds of Lawyers’ to Hide Information from Congress

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The American Center for Law and JusticeJay Sekulow reports: New testimony reveals that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used “hundreds of attorneys” to SMG-REPORThide critical information from Congress’s investigation of the IRS targeting of conservatives.

According to new congressional bombshell testimony today, the IRS set up a previously unknown “special project team” comprised of “hundreds of attorneys,” including the IRS Chief Counsel (one of only two politically appointed positions at the IRS).

The “special project” this team was given?  Concealing information from Congress.

The IRS’s director of privacy, governmental liaison, and disclosure division, Mary Howard, testified that soon after the IRS targeting scandal was revealed, the IRS “amassed hundreds of attorneys to go through the documents [requested by Congress] and redact them.”

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

Members of Congress have long complained that many of the documents produced by the IRS have been “redacted to the point of absurdity.”

Now we know why.

As the Washington Times reports:

Mary Howard, who also works as the head Freedom of Information Act officer in the IRS, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that once the “special project team” was created and operational, she never saw requests for information.

“My understanding was that it started soon after the request came from Congress and other investigators asking for documents around this whole issue,” which she surmised meant around spring of 2013.

In other words, as soon as the IRS targeting scandal broke, the IRS set up a special O-SMDGE-CONDENSEDteam of hundreds of attorneys, including President Obama’s political head of the Chief Counsel’s office, to keep requests for publicly available information away from the person who would normally review those documents and turn them over to Congress and the public.  That “special” team then overly redacted, delayed, and determined which documents it wanted Congress to see.

After setting up a special “group” to target and delay applications by Tea Party groups for tax-exempt status, the IRS set up a new “special project team” to delay and redact information from Congress about that targeting.  Can you smell a cover-up? Read the rest of this entry »


Kevin D. Williamson: The GOP Should Turn its Attention to Prosecutorial Misconduct

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Kevin D. Williamson writes:

“…The Democrats have long been acculturated to the climate of corruption that attends government agencies that are largely free of ordinary accountability, where a carefully cultivated lack of transparency shields operatives from scrutiny and normal oversight. Republicans can rouse themselves to action, if only barely, when this involves the federal Internal Revenue Service or Environmental Protection Agency. But deference to police agencies and prosecutors is so habitual among the members of the law-and-order party that they instinctively look for excuses when presented with obvious examples of police misconduct, and twiddle their thumbs in the 99 percent of cases of prosecutorial misconduct that do not involve a Republican elected official.…”

[Read the full article at NRO]

National Review Online


Democrats Get a Taste of Obama’s Arrogance


THE SMIDGEN REPORT UPDATE: How Congress Botched the IRS Probe

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Top officials repeatedly misled investigators without consequences. Congress needs to get tougher.

Cleta Mitchell writes: Two years ago this week, a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Information confirmed what hundreds of tea party, conservative, pro-life and pro-Israel organizations had long known: The Internal Revenue Service had stopped processing their applications for exempt status and subjected them to onerous, intrusive and discriminatory practices because of their political smdg-tv2views.

“Lying to Congress is a felony. But the Obama Justice Department has not lifted a finger to prosecute anyone responsible for the IRS scandal, including top brass who repeatedly gave false testimony to Congress.”

Since the report, additional congressional investigations have revealed a lot about IRS dysfunction—and worse. But they’ve also revealed Congress’s inability to exercise its constitutional oversight responsibilities of this and other executive agencies.

Consider the repeated testimony and other statements to Congress subsequently shown to be false. The report issued in December by Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.)—then chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform—details numerous instances in which senior IRS officials, including former Commissioner Doug Shulman, Acting Commissioner Steven Miller and Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lernerlied to Congress, denying and covering up the targeting of tea party and conservative groups before the inspector general’s May 2013 report.

Mr. Shulman told the Ways and Means Committee in March 2012 that there was no targeting of conservative groups. Congressional investigations, the Issa committee report notes, established that at the time of his denial Mr. Schulman knew there was “a backlog of applications, delays in processing, and the use of inappropriate development questions.”

Shulman, Lerner and Wolin take their seats to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on targeting of political groups seeking tax-exempt status from by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington

In the early months of 2012, Ms. Lerner made multiple false statements to Congress. In personal meetings, telephone interviews and written communications with congressional investigators, Ms. Lerner denied there were any changes in the criteria for evaluating applications for exempt status. O-SMDGE-CONDENSEDShe stated, falsely, that the intrusive demands from her agency for proprietary information from grass-roots organizations were “ordinary”—a characterization the inspector general’s report specifically rebutted.

Ms. Lerner also told Congress that “nothing had changed” about the way her unit handled such applications. But at the very time she said that, the IRS, including Ms. Lerner, had already identified seven types of information that it had inappropriately demanded from conservative groups between 2010 and 2013. These included donor lists, transcripts of speeches by public officials to meetings, and lists of groups to whom leaders made presentations.

Between May 2012 and May 2013, Mr. Miller testified before Congress on at least six occasions, first as deputy IRS commissioner, then as acting commissioner. He withheld information from Congress each time about the targeting. In a November 2013 interview with congressional investigators—well after the targeting had been documented in the inspector general’s report—Mr. Miller admitted that he became aware of possible IRS misconduct in February 2012. Read the rest of this entry »


Noonan: How the Clintons Get Away With It

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The Clintons are protected from charges of corruption by their reputation for corruption

Peggy Noonan writes: I have read the Peter Schweizer book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and hillary-tall-angryHillary Rich”. It is something. Because it is heavily researched and reported and soberly analyzed, it is a highly effective takedown. Because its tone is modest—Mr. Schweitzer doesn’t pretend to more than he has, or take wild interpretive leaps—it is believable.

 “No one has even come close in recent years to enriching themselves on the scale of the Clintons while they or a spouse continued to serve in public office.”

By the end I was certain of two things. A formal investigation, from Congress or the Justice Department, is needed to determine if Hillary Clinton’s State Department functioned, at least to some degree and in some cases, as pay-for-play operation and whether the Clinton Foundation has functioned, at least in part, as a kind of high-class philanthropic slush fund.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

I wonder if any aspirant for the presidency except Hillary Clinton could survive such a book. I suspect she can because the Clintons are unique in the annals of American PANTSUIT-REPORTpolitics: They are protected from charges of corruption by their reputation for corruption. It’s not news anymore.

“Mr. Schweizer tells a story with national-security implications.”

They’re like . . . Bonnie and Clyde go on a spree, hold up a bunch of banks, it causes a sensation, there’s a trial, and they’re acquitted. They walk out of the courthouse, get in a car, rob a bank, get hauled in, complain they’re being picked on—“Why are you always following us?”—and again, not guilty. They rob the next bank and no one cares. “That’s just Bonnie and Clyde doing what Bonnie and Clyde do. No one else cares, why should I?”

 [Order Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” from Amazon.com]

Mr. Schweizer announces upfront that he cannot prove wrongdoing, only patterns of behavior. There is no memo that says, “To all staff: If we deal this week with any issues regarding Country A, I want you to know country A just gave my husband $750,000 for a speech, so give them what they want.” Even if Mrs. Clinton hadn’t destroyed her emails, no such memo would be found. (Though patterns, dates and dynamics might be discerned.)

“President Obama pressed for a memorandum of understanding in which the Clintons would agree to submit speeches to State’s ethics office, disclose the names of major donors to the foundation, and seek administration approval before accepting direct contributions to the foundation from foreign governments. The Clintons accepted the agreement and violated it ‘almost immediately.'”

Mr. Schweizer writes of “the flow of tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation . . . from foreign governments, corporations, and financiers.” It is illegal for foreign nationals to give to U.S. political campaigns, but foreign money, given as donations to the Clinton Foundation or speaking fees, comes in huge amounts: “No one has even come close in recent years to enriching themselves on the scale of the Clintons while they or a spouse continued to serve in public office.” Read the rest of this entry »


Victor Davis Hanson: ‘When Law Becomes Negotiable, Civilization Collapses’

 

Who will police the tax police?

Why did Rome and Byzantium fall apart after centuries of success? What causes civilizations to collapse, from a dysfunctional fourth-century-B.C. Athens to contemporary bankrupt Greece?

The answer is usually not enemies at the gates, but the pathologies inside them.

What ruins societies is well known: too much consumption and not enough production, a debased currency, and endemic corruption.

Americans currently deal with all those symptoms. But two more fundamental causes for decline are even more frightening: an unwillingness to pay taxes and the end of the rule of law.

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Al Sharpton is again prominently in the news, blaming various groups for the Baltimore unrest. But Sharpton currently owes the U.S. government more than $3 million in back taxes, according to reports. His excuses have ranged from insufficient funds to pay them to sloppy record-keeping and mysterious fires.

Sharpton, a frequent White House guest, apparently assumes that his community-organizing provides him political exemption from federal tax law. He seems to be right, at least as long as the current administration is in power.

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The Clinton Foundation is expected to refile its tax returns for 2010, 2011, and 2012 after failing to separate government grants from donations. If an average citizen tried to amend his taxes for such huge sums and from that long ago, he would probably be under indictment.

[Read the full text here, at VictorHanson.com]

News reports of undocumented donations from foreign governments caught the foundation underreporting its income. The well-connected Clinton clan apparently had assumed that their political status ensured them immunity. Read the rest of this entry »


PANTSUIT REPORT: Hillary’s Drunken Indiscretion: Obama ‘Incompetent, Feckless’

Hillary-Toast

Bob Fredricks writes: Hillary Clinton called President Obama “incompetent and feckless” and charged that he had “no PANTSUIT-REPORThand on the tiller half the time” during a boozy reunion with college pals, a new book claims.

“Obama’s allowed his hatred for his enemies to screw him the way Nixon did.”

 — Hillary Clinton

The scathing attacks came as the wine was flowing at a May 2013 dinner at Le Jardin Du Roi, a cozy French bistro near the Clinton family home in Westchester, according to “Blood Feud,” by best-selling author Edward Klein.

Mr-Crab

“I’m a regular at Le Jardin Du Roi. I was there. It’s true. Hillary is a lot of fun to get drunk with.”

[Read the full text here, at New York Post]

The former first lady, months removed from being Obama’s secretary of state, unleashed the verbal assault between sips of vino, sources told the author.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama

“The thing with Obama is that he can’t be bothered, and there is no hand on the tiller half the time. That’s the story of the Obama presidency. No hand on the f–king tiller.”

“When her friends asked Hillary to tell them what she thought — really thought — about the president she had served for four draining years, she lit into Obama with a passion that surprised them all,” Klein wrote.

Since 2001, Le Jardin du Roi, in downtown Chappaqua, has been a favorite local establishment in a town where the highest quality is expected.

Since 2001, Le Jardin du Roi, in downtown Chappaqua, has been a favorite local establishment in a town where the highest quality is expected.

“Obama has turned into a joke.”

Clinton ranted, “The thing with Obama is that he can’t be bothered, and there is no hand on the tiller half the time. bloodThat’s the story of the Obama presidency. No hand on the f–king tiller,” according to the book, which was excerpted exclusively in Sunday’s Post.

[Check out Klein’s book “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas” at Amazon.com]

“Obama has turned into a joke,” she went on, according to Klein.

“The IRS targeting the Tea Party, the Justice Department’s seizure of AP phone records and [Fox reporter] James Rosen’s e-mails — all these scandals. Obama’s allowed his hatred for his enemies to screw him the way Nixon did,” she raged, the book says, adding that she called the president “incompetent and feckless.” Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: Christian Printer Who Was Punished By the Government for Refusing to Print Gay Pride T-Shirts Just Scored a Major Victory

Hands-On

 reports: A Christian printer who was previously found guilty of discrimination for refusing to print T-shirts for a gay pride parade won big on Monday after a court ruled that he can decline to print messages that run in opposition to his religious views.

“In America, we don’t force people to express messages that are contrary to their convictions. America should not be a place where people who identify as homosexual are forced to promote groups like theWestboro Baptists and where printers with sincere religious convictions are forced to promote the message of the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization.”

— Adamson‘s co-counsel Bryan Beauman of Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, PLLC

The Fayette County Circuit Court’s ruling overturned a previous decision by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, finding that Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On Originals, a printing company in Lexington, Kentucky, was within his rights when he declined to make shirts for the Lexington Pride Parade, according to a press release from Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal firm.

“The court rightly recognized that the law protects Blaine’s decision not to print shirts with messages that conflict with his beliefs, and that no sufficient reason exists for the government to coerce Blaine to act against his conscience in this way.” 

— Jim Campbell, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom

The court found that Adamson did not violate the law in citing his religious convictions as the reason for the refusal, and that his decision was based on his personal freedom not to be forced or coerced to print messages that contradict his views.

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“The court rightly recognized that the law protects Blaine’s decision not to print shirts with messages that conflict with his beliefs, and that no sufficient reason exists for the government to coerce Blaine to act against his conscience in this way,” Jim Campbell, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement.

He added, “In short, [Hands On Originals’] declination to print the shirts was based upon the message of [Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington] and the Pride Festival and not on the sexual orientation of its representatives or members.”

As TheBlaze previously reported, Adamson’s case began when he refused service to the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington and the organization subsequently filed a complaint against Hands on Originals in March 2012, alleging that he had discriminated based on sexual orientation.

But Adamson and his attorneys consistently argued that Hands on Originals is a Christian business and that the views presented on the T-shirts — which advertised a gay pride festival — violated his religious beliefs; these arguments were initially dismissed. Read the rest of this entry »


THE SMIDGEN REPORT: DOJ Will Not Seek Contempt Charges Against Lois Lerner

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The masks are all off now.

The DoJ won’t press contempt charges against her for her busted attempt to plead the fifth (Here Is a Statement of Alleged Facts I Want to Introduce Into the smdg-tv2Record/Having Done That, I Now Say I Don’t Want to Speak for the Record).

Supposedly the DoJ is still considering bringing some sort of charges against her over the Tea Party Targeting.

Sure. I’m sure Eric Holder and Barack Obama want to get right to the bottom of the conspiracy they were participants in.

AceofSpadesHQ


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Hillary Obstructs Congress

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She erased emails after the Benghazi probe wanted to see them

If the House panel investigating Benghazi really wants to get a look at Hillary Clinton’s emails, perhaps it should subpoena the Chinese military. Beijing—which may have hacked the private server she used to send official email as Secretary of State—is likely to be more cooperative than are Mrs. Clinton and her stonewall specialists now reprising their roles from the 1990s.

“Mrs. Clinton’s real message to Congress: You’ll see those emails over my dead body.”

On Friday Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, disclosed that he couldn’t cooperate with the Benghazi committee’s request that she turn over her private server to an independent third party for examination. Why not? Well, the former first diplomat had already wiped the computer clean.
PANTSUIT-REPORT

Of course she had. What else would she do?

The timing of the deletions isn’t entirely clear. Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy says they appear to have been deleted after Oct. 28, 2014, when State asked Mrs. Clinton to return her public records to the department. That could qualify as obstruction of Congress, as lawyer Ronald Rotunda recently argued on these pages.

The deletions certainly violate Mrs. Clinton’s promise to Congress on Oct. 2, 2012, when the Benghazi probe was getting under way. “We look forward to working with the Congress and your Committee as you proceed with your own review,” she told the Oversight Committee. “We are committed to a process that is as transparent as possible, respecting the needs and integrity of the investigations underway. We will move as quickly as we can without forsaking accuracy.”

[read the full text here, at the Wall Street Journal]

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Kendall say the vanishing emails don’t matter because State and the committee already have all the relevant documents and emails they’ve asked for. But State and the committee don’t have the actual emails, only the printed copies she provided to State.

Hillary used iPad for official emails at State

The Hill reports: Hillary Clinton used an iPad and Blackberry to send official emails at the State Department despite her claim that she relied on a personal address to avoid the inconvenience of multiple devices, according to The Associated Press.

And State had previously assured the committee it had everything it had asked for before Mrs. Clinton coughed up 850 pages of email copies from her private server this month—emails State couldn’t turn over before because she hadn’t provided them despite clear State Department policy that she and other officials do so….(read more)

Mrs. Clinton’s real message to Congress: You’ll see those emails over my dead body. Read the rest of this entry »


DAMAGE CONTROL: Ted Cruz Under Fire for Admission that He Files Tax Return Every Year, Even Though He Opposes the IRS

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Ted Cruz, having revealed that he files a tax return, and pays federal income tax to the IRS, even though in his newly-announced bid for the White house, he is actively campaigning against the IRS, finds himself in the midst of a firestorm of criticism and mockery. “Ted Cruz is a hypocrite. How can he attack the IRS, and at the same time, admit that he pays taxes?”, said a spokesman for ThinkProgress. “Any candidate that pays taxes with one hand, and attacks the agency that collects taxes and investigates citizens with the other hand, is not qualified to be president.”


BREAKING: Ted Cruz Reveals He Pays Income Tax to the IRS, an Agency He Vows to Oppose

US-VOTE-REPUBLICANS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Ted Cruz revealed on Tuesday that he and his family will pay federal income tax to the IRS, an agency he claims he wants to shut down, and in observance of federal laws the Republican presidential candidate has vowed to oppose should he win the White House.


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Hillary Doesn’t Take Questions After Speech Promising Open Relationship with Press

Hillary-grins

Forgive me for my cynicism, but that makes me think she just might not mean it

page_2014_200_timpfAt The CornerKatherine Timpf writes:

In a speech in front of a crowd full of journalists at Syracuse University on Monday, Hillary Clinton declared that she had a new hairstyle and would have a new, open relationship with the press along with it — and then didn’t take questions afterwards.PANTSUIT-REPORT

“Why not a new relationship with the press? …No more secrecy. No more zone of privacy. After all, what good did that do for me?”

“With a room full of political reporters, I thought to myself, ‘What could possibly go wrong?’” Clinton joked, apparently considering the press busting her for illegal e-mail practices that may have put national security at risk to be something to joke about…(read more)

National Review


[VIDEO] SMIDGEN REPORT UPDATE: Politico Sat on Allegations Lois Lerner Had Prior History of Targeting Conservatives

Politico is not the only news organization to ignore Salvi’s story

T. Becket Adams writes: Politico scored a journalistic coup with its exclusive 2014 profile on Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.Al-Salvi

But a former Illinois lawmaker who said Politico contacted him repeatedly that year with questions regarding claims he was targeted by Lerner in the mid-1990s has been left wondering why the news group chose to ignore his documented dealings with the former federal official.

“I spent something like an hour and a half talking to Politico about this,” said Salvi, whose dealings with the FEC are well documented by the federal agency. “And I’m nowhere in the story. They had no intention of using anything I said.”

“I was shocked,” Al Salvi told the Washington Examiner‘s media desk, describing what he characterizes as several “lengthy” interviews with Politico reporter Rachael Bade.

Lerner went after his 1996 Senate campaign with a lawsuit totaling $1.1 million — an enforcement action that was eventually thrown out of court — when she was working at the Federal Election Commission, according to Salvi.smdg-tv2

“Every interview I had, the first thing people would say is: Tell us about your investigation. People thought I was going to jail!”

— Al Salvi, whose dealings with the FEC are well documented by the federal agency.

“I spent something like an hour and a half talking to Politico about this,” said Salvi, whose dealings with the FEC are well documented by the federal agency. “And I’m nowhere in the story. They had no intention of using anything I said.”

With its Lerner profile, titled “Exclusive: Lois Lerner breaks silence,” Politico became the first news group to gain access to the embattled former bureaucrat, who resigned from the Internal Revenue Service after bombshell revelations in 2013 that the IRS had singled out Tea Party and other conservative nonprofits for exceptional scrutiny and slow-walking of applications for tax exemptions.

Lerner headed the tax agency’s exempt organizations division at the time.

In 1996, Salvi, a representative in the Illinois state house, ran for an open U.S. Senate seat against then-Rep. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. His campaign attracted powerful scrutiny from the Federal Election Commission’s enforcement division, creating a scandal that Salvi said cost him the race.

031215Lerner-letter

The FEC was responding to a complaint lodged by Gary LaPaille, the Democratic Party’s state chairman. And the commission’s enforcement division was headed at the time by none other than Lois Lerner.

On Oct. 22, 1996, Lerner’s FEC division found”reason to believe” Salvi misreported nearly $1.1 million in contributions and O-SMDGE-CONDENSEDloans, the agency said in a court filing. Later, in an letter dated Oct. 29, 1996, addressed to Salvi’s legal representative at the time, Bobby Burchfield, which shows that Salvi did have some form of contact with Lerner, the FEC announced it had closed its file against the Republican candidate.

And although the FEC’s case was eventually dismissed that year on technical grounds, Salvi ended up losing to Durbin, who is now a powerful senator. Salvi continues to blame the FEC scrutiny and the negative press it brought his campaign for souring voters in the Prairie State.

“Every interview I had, the first thing people would say is: Tell us about your investigation,” Salvi told the Examiner. “People thought I was going to jail!”

Later, after losing his Senate bid, Salvi announced he would run for Illinois secretary of state. But the charges of financial wrongdoing continued to dog Salvi, even after he secured the nomination of the state’s Republican Party. Read the rest of this entry »


John Davidson: King v. Burwell Reveals The Threat Of The Administrative State

(Photo: Karen Bleier, AFP Getty Images)

What happens to the subsidies should not be the court’s concern. The only question that matters in King is whether the administration used the IRS to rewrite a law Congress passed

John Davidson writes: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in what is probably one of the most straightforward questions of statutory interpretation ever to come before the court.

“Over and over, the law says premium subsidies are only to be disbursed ‘through an Exchange established by the State.’ It says this nine times.”

At the heart of King v. Burwell is whether the text of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means what it says. Specifically, the case hinges on what the word “state” means. Does it mean one of the fifty states, or does it mean the states and the federal government?

pic_giant_010714_SM_Owning-Up-to-the-Obamacare-Lies

At issue are the tax credits (subsidies) the law doles out to help Americans pay for health insurance premiums sold through the exchanges. Over and over, the law says premium subsidies are only to be disbursed “through an Exchange established by the State.” It says this nine times.

“Their assumption was that states would set up the exchanges and federal subsidies would flow through them, as described in the law. When 37 states opted instead to let the federal government set up exchanges, it exposed the weakness of the law’s reliance on cooperative federalism.”

If Obamacare is to be faithfully executed, say the challengers in King, then federal subsidies for health insurance are not allowed in the 37 states that failed or refused to set up a state-based exchange and obamacare-design-250instead have federal “default” exchanges. Two different sections of the law authorize exchanges and distinguish in statute between an exchange a state has established (section 1311) and an exchange the Secretary of Health and Human Services has established in states that fail to create one (1321). Subsidies are available only to those who purchase coverage on a state-based—section 1311—exchange.

Cooperative Versus Competitive Federalism

Suffice to say that Obamacare’s exchanges are built on the idea of cooperative federalism: the federal government, unable to simply commandeer state agencies, invites states to implement federal policies in return for federal funding or favorable regulatory treatment.

States carry out a great many federal policies and programs using cooperative federalism, like Medicaid, Common Core, and a host of environmental regulations.

“It comes down to a question about the rule of law and whether, in an advanced administrative state, laws can have a fixed meaning.”

States carry out a great many federal policies and programs using this scheme, like Medicaid, Common Core, and a host of environmental regulations. Because Obamacare meddles so much with health insurance markets, which states traditionally regulated, it relies on the practice of cooperative federalism to an astonishing degree. Congress had hoped to induce states to cooperate by making subsidies contingent on states setting up their own exchanges—a policy proposition that, like Medicaid expansion, could bring millions or even billions of federal dollars into a state. At least, that’s what the Kingchallengers contend.

obamacare-hindenburg

That’s where Obamacare’s legislative history comes into play. When Senate Democrats passed the ACA in December 2010, they hadn’t a vote to spare. When Republican Scott Brown won a special election the very next month to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Edward Kennedy’s death, Senate Republicans gained enough votes to filibuster a conference report on the House and Senate bills. Congressional Democrats therefore had to resort to the budget reconciliation process to pass the final version of the law: they opted for an imperfect bill, one that didn’t go as far as many Democrats had originally wanted, instead of no bill at all.

Read the rest of this entry »


Phyllis Schlafy: Democrats Plan To Win Elections With Illegal Immigrant Votes

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

Phyllis SchlafySchlafly_Phyllis_big.jpg.cms writes: The Obama Democrats have an audacious scheme for winning future elections. They just plan to import 5 million non-citizens and credential them as voters who will, in gratitude, vote Democratic.

The way this devious formula works is stunningly simple. Just get the new Republican Congress (under Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell) to pass a full-funding bill for Homeland Security without any exception for the funding of Obama’s illegal executive amnesty, which will allow Obama to give work permits, Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses to 5 million illegal aliens.

Once the 5 million so-called undocumented persons are given those valuable documents, there is no way to stop them from voting. That conclusion is drawn from the testimony of voting experts such as Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who told the U.S. House Oversight Committee on Feb. 12, “It’s a guarantee it will happen.”

Immigration

Kobach’s warning was reinforced by testimony before the same committee by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who noted that the 5 million non-citizens would receive the “same documents that federal law requires the states to recognize as valid forms of identification for voter registration.” And once an alien registers to vote, Kobach said, it is “virtually impossible” to remove him from the voter rolls.

obama-toast

A third witness, Hans von Spakovsky, suggested that Social Security numbers issued to the 5 million illegal aliens should contain a code (such as “N” for non-citizen) that would instantly reveal their ineligibility to vote. But that simple fix would happen only if the Obama administration sincerely wants to keep them from voting, which I doubt.

A large group of Immigrants, guided by two "coyotes" or guides, walk on the desert of Sonora bound for the border with Arizona. This group consisted of 37 border crossers, from four different countries- They included people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and one Brazilian. Sasabe, Mexico. 01/23/05

A large group of Immigrants, guided by two “coyotes” or guides, walk on the desert of Sonora bound for the border with Arizona. This group consisted of 37 border crossers, from four different countries- They included people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and one Brazilian. Sasabe, Mexico. 01/23/05

In case the illegal aliens need spending money, they can collect a special handout from the U.S. taxpayers called Earned Income Tax Credit, which was designed to help parents who are working to support their families. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 3 that as soon as the illegal aliens receive their Social Security numbers, they will be allowed to go back and claim the EITC for up to three previous years in which they worked illegally. Read the rest of this entry »


Democrats Run Away from Obamacare Penalty They Imposed

running

Democrats don’t like to call the Obamacare penalty a penalty; its official name is the Shared Responsibility Payment. But the fact is, the lawmakers’ intent in levying the fines was to make it so painful for the average American to ignore Obamacare that he or she will ultimately knuckle under and do as instructed.

Byron Yorkyork writes: The Democrats who wrote and passed the Affordable Care Act were sure of two things: The law had to include a mandate requiring every American to purchase health insurance, and it had to have an enforcement mechanism to make the mandate work. Enforcement has always been at the heart of Obamacare.

Now, though, enforcement time has come, and some Democrats are shying away from the coercive measures they themselves wrote into law.

China Currency

“Enforcement Has Always Been at the Heart of Obamacare”

The Internal Revenue Service is the enforcement arm of Obamacare, and with tax forms due April 15, Americans who did not purchase coverage and who have not received one of the many exemptions already offered by the administration are discovering they will have to pay a substantial fine. For a household with, say, no kids and two earners making $35,000 a piece, the fine will be $500, paid at tax time.

millen-anguish

“And there’s very little chance the individual mandate’s approval numbers will improve, now that millions of Americans are getting a taste of what it really means.”

That’s already a fact. What is particularly worrisome to Democrats now is that, as those taxpayers discover the penalty they owe, they will already be racking up a new, higher penalty for 2015. This year, the fine for not obeying Obamacare’s edict is $325 per adult, or two percent of income above the filing threshold, whichever is higher. So that couple making $35,000 a year each will have to pay $1,000.

There’s another problem. The administration’s enrollment period just ended on February 15. So if people haven’t signed up for Obamacare already, they’ll be stuck paying the higher penalty for 2015.

China Currency

“The individual mandate has always been extremely unpopular. In December 2014, just a couple of months ago, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 64 percent of those surveyed don’t like the mandate. The level of disapproval has been pretty consistent since the law was passed.”

By the way, Democrats don’t like to call the Obamacare penalty a penalty; its official name is the Shared Responsibility Payment. But the fact is, the lawmakers’ intent in levying the fines was to make it so painful for the average American to ignore Obamacare that he or she will ultimately knuckle under and do as instructed.

crying college student

Except that it’s easier to inflict theoretical pain than actual pain. Read the rest of this entry »


[REWIND] 90s Nostalgia: When Criminal IRS Abuses were a Harmless Seinfeld Punch Line

Seinfeld-IRS-Mafia


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