‘The Elijah Cummings Guide to How to Perform in Televised Committee Hearings’

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“I believe there are two key ingredients of a successful performances in congressional hearings. One, shameless, grandiose, spectacular displays of emotion. This is important when TV cameras are present.”

“And two, extreme, earsplitting volume. The louder I yell, and the more emotional I am, you see, the better my performance is.”

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“The facts, and the purpose of the hearing, are secondary to showing people how angry and upset I am. I pretend to be really, really upset.”

“The single most important factor in a successful performance is how much volume I can achieve, with my voice.”

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“Being able to yell louder than anyone in the room is the most effective way to demonstrate that I am passionate, irrational, emotionally unstable, and a righteous and loyal member of my party.”

— from “The Elijah Cummings Guide to How to Perform in Televised Committee Hearings“, now in paperback.


FAINTING COUCH: Dem Rep Carolyn Maloney Freaks Out, Accuses Jason Chaffetz of ‘Beating’ Female Planned Parenthood Executive by…Asking Salary Questions? 

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Carolyn Maloney Sees ‘War on Women‘ Discrimination in GOP Daring to Question Half Million a Year Salary of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) lashed out at House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) after he questioned the salary of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

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“I find it totally inappropriate and discriminatory. I’ve never seen a witness beaten up and questioned about their salary.”

— Rep. Carolyn Maloney, suffering a full-blown Victorian case of the vapors

In a charged hearing filled with intense exchanges, Maloney accused Chaffetz of being out of line for questioning Richards’s rising salary.

“I find it totally inappropriate and discriminatory,” said Maloney, the top Democrat on the panel. “I’ve never seen a witness beaten up and questioned about their salary.”

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Chaffetz questioned Planned Parenthood’s expenses on travel, its real estate holdings and Richards’s salary in suggesting it is not really putting its money behind women’s healthcare. He noted that Richards’s salary has gone up by more than $100,000 between 2009 and 2013. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Is This Man Smiling?

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Sanders has eclipsed Clinton by a 44 to 37 percent margin, according to a new Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll that was first reported by the Boston newspaper Tuesday evening.

The previous FPU/Herald poll taken in March had Sanders trailing Clinton 44 to 8.

Today’s poll is the first to show Sanders, whose liberal policies are popular with the Democratic base, ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire. Read the rest of this entry »


Hillary Clinton’s Secret #Benghazi Phone Call

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If it’s almost 100% redacted, does it count as ‘unclassified’?

 writes: Another day, another tiny, minuscule, pin-width beam of light shining down on who knew what, when, and how during and in the wake of the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Most recently, we saw Sid Blumenthal, having been dragged before a Congressional committee, providing investigators with a batch of then-PANTSUIT-REPORTSecretary Clinton’s private e-mails that the State Department failed to hand over. The very existence of those e-mails had members of the committee convinced that their much-maligned digging is not only justified, but necessary in the effort to figure out what was in the Administration’s collective hive mind in the wake of the attacks.

We already knew that Clinton and Obama spoke on the night of the Benghazi attacks; what we didn’t know is what they talked about. But finally! A federal court has released a new document, the contents of which have the potential to blow this whole thing wide open.

The problem? The “unclassified” document is almost completely redacted:

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READOUT OF PRESIDENT’S CALL TO SECRETARY CLINTON: *crickets*Does it count as “unclassified” if it’s covered in correction tape?

Of course, the Administration has a totally predictable excuse for all the white-out. They’re not arguing that the information contained in the call was classified, but that it “represents internal deliberations” about the 2012 attack.

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[Read the full story here, at Legal Insurrection]

This e-mail was released as part of a FOIA demand made by activist group Judicial Watch, and it’s a vital link in the timeline.

Via Fox News:

The emails also show that Rhodes, on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and before the attack was over, endorsed a statement from Clinton that cited an anti-Islam Internet video.

That statement noted some tried to justify the assault “as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” Rhodes told Clinton’s aides that “we should let State Department statement be our comment for the night.” Read the rest of this entry »


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Trey Gowdy to Hillary Clinton: ‘Turn Over Your Server’

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Hillary Clinton’s Response to Gowdy’s Letter is Due by April 4

Alex Moe and Carrie Dann report: Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has sent a letter to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attorney requesting that she turn PANTSUIT-REPORTover her private email server to the State Department‘s Inspector General or to another neutral third party.

“The Committee must have objective assurances it, and by extension the House of Representatives as a whole, has received all relevant information requested and necessary for a thorough investigation into what happened before, during and after the attacks in Benghazi, Libya,” he wrote in the letter. “More broadly, the equities in these emails extend beyond this Committee. The House of Representatives and the American people are entitled to a complete accounting of the Secretary’s official record during her time as Secretary of State.”

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“The House of Representatives and the American people are entitled to a complete accounting of the Secretary’s official record during her time as Secretary of State.”

“Should Secretary Clinton continue to maintain that the server and its contents are hers alone, I will inform the Speaker of the House of Representatives so that he can use the full powers of the House to take the necessary steps to protect the best interests of the American people,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »


Hillary Clinton: Slow-Walking The Perp Walk

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The tapes included candid conversations and allegations that Mrs. Clinton took the U.S. to war on false pretenses and was not listening to the advice of military commanders or career intelligence officers.

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro and Kelly Riddell report: The chairman of a special House committee created to investigate the 2012 Benghazi tragedy on Monday instructed his staff to review secretly recorded tapes and intelligence reports that detail Hillary Rodham Clinton’s role in advocating and executing the war in Libya, opening the door for a possible expansion of his probe.

Rep. Trey Gowdy’s decision to seek a review of the materials, first highlighted in a series of Washington Times stories last week, carries consequences for the 2016 election in which Mrs. Clinton is expected to seek the presidency. It could also move the committee to examine the strained relationship between the State Department and Pentagon, which sharply disagreed over the 2011 war in Libya and the response to the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi a year later.

The Times reported last week that U.S. intelligence did not support Mrs. Clinton’s story of an impending genocide in Libya that she used to sell the war against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. The newspaper also unveiled secretly recorded tapes from Libya that showed that the Pentagon and Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich so distrusted her stewardship of the war that they opened their own diplomatic channels with the Gadhafi regime.

The tapes included candid conversations and allegations that Mrs. Clinton took the U.S. to war on false pretenses and was not listening to the advice of military commanders or career intelligence officers.

“Chairman Gowdy and the committee are aware of the details reported by The Washington Times, and we are reviewing them as part of the committee’s inquiry into Benghazi,” Benghazi Committee spokesman Jamal Ware announced Monday.

The emergence of the tapes and a new line of inquiry immediately had repercussions, especially on the political front where the 2016 president race has heated up.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a 2016 GOP hopeful who has been intensely critical of Mrs. Clinton’s handling of the 2011 Libya intervention, said the stories demonstrate she is not the right person to lead the country or the nation’s military.

“Hillary’s judgment has to be questioned – her eagerness for war in Libya should preclude her from being considered the next Commander in Chief,” said Sen. Paul, who opposed the Libyan intervention at the onset. Read the rest of this entry »


Emails Show IRS Lois Lerner Specifically Targeted Tea Party

Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the Internal Revenue Service scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed that they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy, according to several of Ms. Lerner’s emails released by a House committee Thursday.

BREAKING NEWS: Girl feud! Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus tangle over slip of the tongue

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Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus were supposedly girlfriends! — but are they anymore? Comments Perry made on TV while promoting her Prismatic tour Down Under made their way halfway around the world, and Cyrus is not happy.

It all started Monday on Australia’s “Sunrise” program, when one of the hosts riffed off Perry’s hit “I Kissed a Girl” to lead into a discussion of the “Roar” singer’s recent lip-lock with Cyrus during one of the “Wrecking Ball” singer’s shows.

“Scandalous!” Perry joked, before explaining what went down….Read more >>> LATimes

Note: Use Lois Lerner story only if the new photos of Miley Cyrus don’t come in by deadline. Bump this, see if there’s any room for it next week, thanks. –Ed. Move to Page D 17, bottom of page: “Emails Show IRS Lois Lerner Specifically Targeted Tea Party”

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Stephen Dinan and Seth McLaughlin report:  Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the Internal Revenue Service scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed that they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy, according to several of Ms. Lerner’s emails released by a House committee Thursday.

In one 2011 email, Ms. Lerner specifically calls the tea party applications for tax-exempt status problematic, which seems to counter Democrats’ arguments that tea party groups weren’t targeted.

“Tea Party Matter very dangerous,” Ms. Lerner wrote in the 2011 email, saying that those applications could end up being the “vehicle to go to court” to get more clarity on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules.

Read the rest of this entry »


Top IRS Official For Obamacare Implementation Placed On Administrative Leave

Sources say a key official in charge of overseeing health reform implementation, as well as another staffer, have been put on leave for accepting more than $1,000 in free meals and other items at a 2010 conference.

Image by Susan Walsh, File / AP

John Stanton

WASHINGTON — The IRS has put a top official in charge of implementing Obamacare on administrative leave after it was discovered he had accepted $1,162 in free food and other items during a 2010 conference.

In a statement, the IRS confirmed that two employees have been placed on administrative leave — which is paid — and have begun the process of removing them.

“[Acting IRS Director] Danny Werfel learned of the situation last night and immediately asked his leadership team to take action. He has also been in contact with key congressional committees about the situation,” the service said in the statement.

“When I came to IRS, part of my job was to hold people accountable,” Werfel said. “There was clearly inappropriate behavior involved in this situation, and immediate action is needed.”

The IRS informed congressional staff investigating the agency that Fred Schindler had been put on leave for accepting the gifts. A second unnamed staffer in the division was also put on leave for accepting the gifts, the aides said.

According to congressional sources, the food was provided by an event planner organizing the conference during an “after hours” party. One source says the incident was referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution but it was not acted upon.

An IRS spokesman declined to comment on whether the issue was sent to DOJ.

Schindler is the deputy for Sarah Hall Ingram, who is heading up implementation of the Affordable Care Act for the IRS. Ingram has come under scrutiny recently because she oversaw the division of the IRS which targeted conservative organizations seeking nonprofit status.

According to congressional sources, the suspensions appear to be the first examples of employees being punished as part of a separate scandal over the service’s spending on conferences. One congressional source said it also appears the free meals and gifts were accepted at the same 2010 conference during which participants filmed a Star Trek spoof video.

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa is scheduled to hold a hearing on conference spending by the IRS Thursday.

via BuzzFeed