For Breitbart.com, Charlie Spiering writes: On Tax Day, the Republican National Committee announced it is suing the IRS for stonewalling Freedom of Information Act request for documents about the tax agency’s politicized scrutiny of conservative and Tea Party groups.
The RNC filed the request on May 21, 2013, in an attempt to expose the documents and emails surrounding agency’s process in handling applications of non-profit organizations such as conservative and Tea Party groups.
“We’re filing this suit because the Obama administration has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable to the American people. The IRS has a legal obligation to answer our inquiry for these records.”
After the RNC filed the request, the IRS has requested several extensions, which has already delayed the release by 226 business days.
A Glimpse into the Political Future: Jonathan Chait’s Advance Apologia for the Democrats’ Defeat in NovemberPosted: April 15, 2014
Fred Siegel writes: Jonathan Chait has written a thoughtful, if debatable, 6,000-word article on race in the Obama years that has stirred a good deal of discussion. It can be read as an advance apologia for the Democrats’ defeat in the 2014 elections. Chait’s thesis, as he sums it up in an online surrebuttal, is that “American politics in the age of Obama has become balkanized not along racial lines, but by how people think about race.” In other words, Chait argues, “the Obama era has produced a cleavage along ideological rather than racial lines,” so that neither black conservatives who support the Tea Party nor the far more numerous white liberals who nod in agreement with Al Sharpton’s preachings on MSNBC are as anomalous as partisans assert. “Liberals,” Chait writes, “dwell in a world of paranoia of a white racism that has seeped out of American history in the Obama years and lurks everywhere, mostly undetectable.” Similarly, he goes on, “Conservatives dwell in a paranoia of their own, in which racism is used as a cudgel to delegitimize their core beliefs. And the horrible thing is that both of these forms of paranoia are right.”
“Parts of the public, not necessarily on the right, have caught on to Obama’s double game, in which his administration has been rhetorically egalitarian and operationally elitist.”
One can commend Chait for his evenhandedness—which has stirred a hornet’s nest of opposition from liberals—without accepting the equivalence he draws between these two views. But the real problem with his essay comes when he steps out of the realm of ideology and into the world of practical outcomes. Six years into the Obama presidency, Americans have ample grounds, independent of race, to dislike him.
[Check out Fred Siegel's book: The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class at Amazon]
ATTKISSON: I didn’t run into that same kind of sentiment [at CBS] as I did in the Obama administration when I covered the Bush administration very aggressively, on its secrecy and lack of Freedom of Information responses, and its poor management of the Food and Drug Administration and the national laboratories, the Halliburton-Iraq questions of fraud. I mean, there was one thing after another. The bait-and-switch of TARP, the bank bailout program. All of those stories under Bush were met with a good reception. There were different managers as well, but no one accused me of being a mouthpiece for the liberals at that time.
Attkisson told Kurtz that the White House would pressure her to change or drop her reporting, and when that didn’t work, they worked her bosses instead. Kurtz asked how this differed from the “working the refs” actions that go on all the time in Washington, and Attkisson says that it went too far.
“It’s just a lot of obfuscation, accusations, saying things are ‘phony scandals,’ ‘bogus,’ ‘not real,’ giving misinformation and false information. I mean, that’s provably true in some cases.”
Mediaite‘s transcript captures Attkisson’s complaint about broadcast journalism in the age of Obama:
ATTKISSON:Now there’ve always been tensions, there have always been calls from the White House under any administration I assume, when they don’t like a particular story. But it is particularly aggressive under the Obama administration and I think it’s a campaign that’s very well organized, that’s designed to have sort of a chilling effect and to some degree has been somewhat successful in getting broadcast producers who don’t really want to deal with the headache of it — why put on these controversial stories that we’re going to have to fight people on, when we can fill the broadcast with other perfectly decent stories that don’t ruffle the same feathers?
Chris Reed writes: If you’re a conservative or libertarian who’s not just mad but astounded by how much the media protect Barack Obama, Wednesday’s front page of The Los Angeles Times was likely to generate either a stroke or a snort of disbelief/amusement. But if you are someone who may not be ideological yet is open to the idea that media bias is real and powerful, it should have been a jolt, too.
The lead story on the top right of the page was a news account of President Obama’s Tuesday “victory lap” press conference in which he said that the fact that 7.1 million Americans had allegedly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act was proof that he was right and everyone who criticized the ACA was wrong. The headline pushed readers to accept this view; the subhead made the case that only selfish people opposed the law.
In the story itself, the first half by David Lauter and Christi Parsons of the Times’ Washington bureau gave no larger context at all — it was all “victory lap.” Among the 40 relevant things it didn’t mention, most significant was the fact that it chose not to say that so many past claims about Obamacare proved wildly in error. Nor did it emphasize that it appears that there were more people signing up for the ACA through government exchanges because they lost their coverage due to ACA rules then there were of people who previously had no health insurance.
Jim Geraghty writes: In recent weeks, we examined the Obama administration’s willingness to reverse positions that it had once proudly proclaimed — on whether an individual mandate is necessary, whether the individual mandate is a tax, whether it is important that you can keep your plan or doctor, whether lobbyists should work in a president’s administration, whether a donor should be appointed U.S. ambassador, and so on. Then we noted environmentalists who said they would not criticize or attack lawmakers who supported the Keystone Pipeline, as long as they were Democrats.
“What kind of a country do you get when political leaders are driven by a desire to feel that they are more enlightened, noble, tolerant, wise, sensitive, conscious, and smart than most other people?”
Last week, we expanded the discussion to progressives’ wide-ranging willingness to contradict their own professed principles: gun-control proponents who travel with armed bodyguards, voucher opponents who send their kids to private schools, and minimum-wage-hike advocates who pay their staff less than the minimum wage, among others.
So what do progressives really want? If, as I suspect, the currency of progressivism isn’t policies or results, but emotions, what does that approach build? What kind of a country do you get when political leaders are driven by a desire to feel that they are more enlightened, noble, tolerant, wise, sensitive, conscious, and smart than most other people?
“The preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that immigration enforcement in America has collapsed…”
– Senator Jeff Sessions
The report, provided to Breitbart News ahead of its late Sunday evening release, reviews internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) metrics to conclude that the Obama administration released 35 percent—or 68,000—convicted criminal aliens back into the U.S. general population when they could have been deported. “The criminal alien releases typically occur without formal notice to local law enforcement agencies and victims,” CIS’s Jessica Vaughan, the report’s author, added.
“…American citizens have a legal and moral right to the protections our immigration laws afford – at the border, the interior and the workplace…”
By “criminal,” ICE means people who have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony that is not a traffic violation. For instance, traffic violations like Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or even vehicular manslaughter do not count toward this description of “criminal alien.” As for the definition of “alien,” ICE mostly means illegal aliens, though some are legal aliens when they are considered deportable legal aliens—which is possible for legal immigrants who have committed a serious crime, like a felony.
“…The administration has stripped these protections and adopted a government policy that encourages new arrivals to enter illegally or overstay visas by advertising immunity from future enforcement. “
The documents also show ICE only deported a small fraction of the aliens they encountered overall.
The findings stand in stark contrast to liberal calls on Obama to reduce deportations.
Matthew Boyle reports: Fully 98 percent of individuals deported from the United States in 2013 were either criminals, apprehended while illegally crossing the border, or had been previously deported, according to a new analysis from Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
“This is part of a repeated pattern of overreach on the part of the Administration and shows their unwillingness to follow the law as it is written…It’s impossible for Congress to have an open and honest debate on border security when we can’t trust the President to do his job.”
– Rep. John Culberson
The three-page document, labeled a “Critical Alert” by the senator’s office, found three executive actions by President Barack Obama providing amnesty to groups of illegal aliens meant that virtually no one who did not meet other criteria beyond simply being in the country illegal was deported.
“The evidence reveals that the Administration has carried out a dramatic nullification of federal law,” Sessions said in a statement to Breitbart News. “Under the guise of setting ‘priorities’, the Administration has determined that almost anyone in the world who can enter the United States is free to illegally live, work and claim benefits here as long as they are not caught committing a felony or other serious crime.
“This is another clear warning to anyone who thinks immigration reform is possible under President Obama.”
– John Fleming (R-LA)
Obama’s well-known executive action granted virtual amnesty to so-called DREAMers – individuals who claim to have entered the country as minors under their parents’ guidance.
[VIDEO] Rumsfeld: ‘This White House, and State Department, Has Failed to Get a Status of Forces Agreement. A Trained Ape Could Get a Get a Status of Forces Agreement’Posted: March 25, 2014
U.S. Relationship With Karzai Has Gone Downhill ‘Like a Toboggan’ Under Obama
I missed the original broadcast but saw the late evening replay of Greta’s interview with Rumsfeld, and it was ‘blistering’, indeed. it motivated me to go find the video or audio of his comments. Above is a short video segment featuring the former Secretary of Defense’s most pointed criticism. Full interview on this page, scroll down to the second video.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld issued a blistering critique of the Obama administration for the deterioration of the United States’s relationship with Afghanistan Monday on Fox News.
Rumsfeld squarely blamed the White House for failing to secure what should have been an easy status of forces agreement with Afghanistan.
Conservative Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse, who has been surging since being labeled the anti-Obamacare candidate, has released a “Constitutional Madness” bracket to highlight the lawlessness of the Obama administration.
“Which is President Obama’s worst constitutional violation?” the bracket says.“Make your picks!”
Pairings include “allowing congressional Obamacare subsidies” versus “forcing taxpayers to violate religious conscience by funding abortion through Obamacare” to “Using the IRS to suppress free speech” to “Secret monitoring of Fox News and the Associated Press.”
Sasse, who has vowed to take on the permanent political class and has already clashed with the Washington establishment, was most recently endorsed by former Alaska. Gov. Sarah Palin.
Here are the “Constitutional Madness” regionals:
Allowing congressional Obamacare subsidies.
Forcing taxpayers to violate religious conscience by funding abortion through Obamacare.
Two-year delay in Obamacare individual mandate.
One-year delay to make health plans Obamacare-compliant.
One-year delay in Obamacare’s employer mandate.
Implementing the DREAM Act without legislation.
Changing welfare work rules without legislation.
By unilaterally retreating from online oversight, the White House pleased regimes that want to control the Web
L. Gordon Crovitz writes: The Internet is often described as a miracle of self-regulation, which is almost true. The exception is that the United States government has had ultimate control from the beginning. Washington has used this oversight only to ensure that the Internet runs efficiently and openly, without political pressure from any country.
This was the happy state of affairs until last Friday, when the Obama administration made the surprise announcement it will relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, which assigns and maintains domain names and Web addresses for the Internet. Russia, China and other authoritarian governments have already been working to redesign the Internet more to their liking, and now they will no doubt leap to fill the power vacuum caused by America’s unilateral retreat.
“The Obama administration has now endangered that hallmark of Internet freedom.”
Why would the U.S. put the open Internet at risk by ceding control over Icann? Administration officials deny that the move is a sop to critics of the National Security Agency’s global surveillance. But many foreign leaders have invoked the Edward Snowden leaks as reason to remove U.S. control—even though surveillance is an entirely separate topic from Internet governance.
“This treaty, which goes into effect next year, legitimizes censorship of the Web and the blocking of social media.”
Breitbart.com‘s John Sexton reports: Earlier today Sharyl Attkisson announced on Twitter that she was leaving CBS News. Early reports suggest the split was “amicable” though Attkisson is said to have wanted to leave because she had grown frustrated with the network’s “liberal bias.” Specifically, she felt it was a struggle to get her work on the CBS Evening News, the network’s flagship news program.
[Talk about media bias, Politico's idea of a headline, no joke: The right loses its hero at CBS. Hero? What Attkisson did is uncontroversial: apply equally tough standards to the Obama Administration and the Bush Administration. This is news? Isn't that what all reporters are supposed to do?]
The brother of a top Obama administration official is the president of CBS News
Sharyl Attkisson is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — that addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the administration.
She hasn’t landed in the top 20 since.
In a quick chat with the Erik Wemple Blog, Tyndall said that Attkisson tallied a mere 54 minutes on “The CBS Evening News” in 2013, a third of her previous totals. That was good for a ranking of 78th among network news reporters. “She was obviously being sidelined,” says Tyndall.
So Attkisson did not imagine that her status at CBS had changed, it really did. And given that it changed after 2009 when she started to focus on the Obama administration it stretches credulity to suggest that this was not a primary reason for the sudden change.
CBS: Report the Facts, Follow the Truth Wherever it Leads, Hold the Administration Accountable (Except when a Democrat is in the White House)
Although Politico received no comment from Attkisson other than the split was amicable, the left-wing outlet is reporting that Attkisson left due to the network’s “liberal bias.” This split is ahead of her contract. “She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her packages on television.”
Politico writes that Attkisson became “a polarizing figure at the network.” Some saw a political agenda in her work. Politico adds:
The bulk of Attkisson’s work since 2009 has focused on the failures or perceived failures of the Obama administration, including the administration’s failed green energy investments and the attack in Benghazi, though she has reported on several Republican failures as well.
UPDATE: and from London, 12.13am GMT:
The BBC’s indomitable Nick Sutton, nightly tweeter of tomorrow’s Fleet Street front pages, notes that Ukraine leads on most.
Among them, The Sun has its own characteristic take on the crisis.
— Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) March 2, 2014
“Russian forces now have complete operational control of the Crimean peninsula, some 6,000-plus airborne and naval forces, with considerable materiel,” the official said in a briefing for reporters. “There is no question that they are in an occupation position in Crimea…”
The current proposed defense budget from the Obama administration would mothball the US fleets of venerable A-10 close air support (CAS) aircraft and the even more venerable U2 spyplanes (of Francis Gary Powers fame).
Miltech fans like me become attached to quirky planes like these, whose specialized missions lead to extreme designs (in the case of the A-10, basically a flying tank, and for the U2, an elegant jet-powered sailplane). Both aircraft have survived multiple attempts to kill them in the past, and both have proven their worth over and over again in surprising ways. Like the ancient B-52, that has been reborn over and over again to carry out missions it was never conceived for, these two aircraft have proven the value of a design that does one thing very well but isn’t all things to all people for all missions. Hated by the bean-counters and mega-defense contractors because they are such sturdy hedgehogs of the air, these old soldiers stand their ground in one corner of “mission space” against all comers. In this they are the opposite of what Defense Secretary Hagel says will replace the A-10, the gold-plated Swiss-Army-Knife F-35, which tries to do everything for everyone everywhere and, in doing so, does nothing extremely well.
Both the Warthog and the Dragon Lady have very vocal fans in and out of Congress. Time will tell whether they finally fall to the dreams of the budgeteers and bloated defense contractors.