Thursday, June 27, 2013

IRS Scandal: Salon Pushes Discredited Talking Points

Look at that impressive headline below from Salon.  An Issa smear / White house propaganda piece disguised as a credible news story by an Obamabot named Alex Pareene

Issa saved by the news cycle

Another lying miss for the Oversight Committee chair, though this one couldn't have fallen apart at a better time 


There has been so much news this week, from the Supreme Court to the racist television cooking lady to the return of Crossfire, that some of the political media’s old favorite stories have almost entirely disappeared from cable news and the blogosphere. Victims of the news cycle include the trio of “scandals” that gripped official Washington for weeks beginning last month. In particular, the controversy over IRS scrutiny of Tea Party groups has largely disappeared from the headlines. Considering how much of a political gift that particular controversy was to Republicans, you’d expect them to be upset about this fact. But recent revelations have actually given them cause to celebrate the nation’s short attention span. 

It was revealed this week, in fact, that the entire scandal was essentially a set-up. First, acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel testified that the IRS also scrutinized and challenged groups with names that included “Occupy” and “progressive.” IRS documents released by House Democrats supported his testimony. The IG didn’t uncover targeting of liberal groups because it wasn’t asked to.
The spokesman for the Treasury inspector general noted their audit acknowledged there were other watch lists. But the spokesman added: “We did not review the use, disposition, purpose or content of the other BOLOs. That was outside the scope of our audit.”
We then learned that the entire reason the Treasury Inspector General highlighted IRS scrutiny of conservative groups, but not liberal groups, was because the IG had been instructed to do so by Issa.
The article ends with more humor:
 Conservatives will still trust Issa. They didn’t give up on him when Fast & Furious failed to lead to impeachment, and they certainly won’t give up on him now. And like I said, the scandal already sort of served its purpose: It hurt Obama politically. The question, still, is whether the objective press will continue to treat Issa’s claims seriously, after a month in which he trumpeted the results of a purposefully limited IG audit, released selectively edited transcripts of testimony and generally took everyone for a ride that led nowhere. Alas, you can lie to the political press dozens of times over the course of years and still remain a trusted source, so don’t expect much additional skepticism the next time Issa promises something huge.

Now we leave the leftist spin machine at Salon and head back to reality

Treasury IG: Liberal groups weren't targeted by IRS like Tea Party

 By Bernie Becker - 06/27/13 09:06 AM ET
Liberal groups seeking tax-exempt status faced less IRS scrutiny than Tea Party groups, according to the Treasury inspector general.
Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, told Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) in a letter dated Wednesday that the IRS did not use inappropriate criteria to scrutinize groups with “progressives” in their name seeking tax-exempt status.
“Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the ‘progressives’ identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012,” George wrote in the letter obtained by The Hill. 

The inspector general also stressed that 100 percent of the groups with “Tea Party,” “patriots” and “9/12” in their name were flagged for extra attention.

“While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” George wrote to Levin, the top Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. 
George and his office have faced criticism in recent days after it emerged that its audit was tasked with looking into merely whether conservative groups faced tough IRS scrutiny. Documents released this week showed other groups — including liberal and non-partisan organizations — also received scrutiny from the IRS, and Democrats have suggested this wasn't noted in the ensuing scandal because of the IG's focus on conservative groups.
George insisted that his office did not limit its audit to Tea Party groups. 
Read more:

Other Links on the IRS Scandal
Obama's IRS Targets Conservative Groups-Leaks Info

IRS approved liberal groups while Tea Party in limbo 

Trust in government continues to plummet so leave it up to the leftist praetorian media and apparatchiks to distract and dis-inform for the Obama administration and continue to provide cover for a BIG government that targets American citizens. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) Reveals the Senate Agenda

 Harry Reid has been at the helm of the Senate since the Dems took over in 2006. His hypocrisy and abuse of power as Majority Leader (filling the amendment tree and proforma sessions) and willingness to push the party election narrative at the expense of the American people makes him a star in the Democrat party. With the leftist media as a megaphone, Harry Reid and the Democrats will repeat their simple 'messages' to sway the low information voter. 

Democrats vote Steve King ‘most clueless’ Republican

The Democrats have crowned their King.

Democratic members of congress voted Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) the House’s “most clueless Republican,” at a private Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner Tuesday night, an aide said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) and the Senate Agenda - Demonize the House GOP

At the closed-door event, members were shown a video highlighting Republicans’ “tone-deaf” moments, then given a ballot to vote for the most clueless. Contenders included Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, Texas Reps. Louie Gohmert and Michael Burgess, Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey, Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg and Alaska Rep. Don Young, according to the DCCC aide.
Showing the video, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel told the roughly 100 members in attendance the Republicans were “crazy.”
“There is nothing more important about the stakes of this election than what you just saw – they’re in the majority, they’re running this Congress and they’re crazy. And their craziness and chaos is unacceptable to this country – and it’s our job to send them packing,” Israel said.
The DCCC says it will be rolling out a similar campaign to allow supporters to vote regularly on Republican comments.

Democrats vote Steve King ‘most clueless’ Republican

Other narratives:
The left wing media aids  the democrat party, which is an appendage of BIG government.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Senator Harry Reid Limits Amendment and Debate on Immigration Bill

Senate awaits Corker-Hoeven language to proceed on immigration

By Ramsey Cox - 06/20/13 10:39 PM ET

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced late Thursday that the Senate would complete work drafting a GOP border security amendment on Friday.
Reid had been delaying adjournment for the evening in hopes that the GOP border security amendment from Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) would be completed, but he said it was “senseless” to continue work Thursday night.

Instead to Senate will continue work on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Senators Jeff Sessions & Mike Lee Discuss Immigration Bill and Amendments

Reid is expected to file cloture on the Gang of Eight’s bill in addition to the Corker-Hoeven amendment. The bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight, introduced S. 744, which would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.
In the underlying bill, an e-verify system and entry-exit system at air and sea ports must be in place before anyone is given a green card. The amendment from Hoeven and Corker would also require construction of 700 miles of southern border fencing, the purchase of more than $3 billion in new technology for border security, and the hiring of 20,000 more border patrol agents mandatory before green cards are issued. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would have 10 years to implement those requirements.
Republicans had complained that the original bill made too many “promises” that were dependant on DHS drafting a plan. With the Corker-Hoeven amendment certain border security measures must be included in the DHS border security plan.
The Senate considered only 12 amendments to the comprehensive bill, most of which were GOP amendments aimed at ensuring border security measures occurred before any immigrants were granted legal status — those failed.
The Senate is expected to pass the immigration bill next week. Reid has said the bill needs to be complete before the July 4th recess.

Senate awaits Corker-Hoeven language to proceed on immigration 

Obstructionist Harry Reid Plays Politics With Senate Bills & Filibuster 

Cornyn expresses ‘shock and amazement’ at Corker-Hoeven border enforcement amendment

"After his controversial border security amendment was shot down during today’s Senate session, Sen. John Cornyn was visibly bewildered as Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker and North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven took to the chamber floor to propose alternative legislation that demands even tougher enforcement.
While Cornyn said the Corker-Hoeven proposal “moved this bill in a constructive direction,” he questioned how the amendment differed from his own to garner the support of Gang of Eight legislators — including Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, who slammed Cornyn’s amendment last week on the Senate floor."

"The amendment was tabled 54-43, “disparaged as a budget-buster,” Cornyn said.
To what Cornyn described as his “shock and amazement,” the Corker-Hoeven proposal requires an additional 350 miles of border fencing (on top of the 350 miles already required in the underlying bill) and even more border patrol agents — a whopping 20,000.
“How is it going to be paid for?” Cornyn asked Hoeven.
Hoeven said $30 billion of what a Congressional Budget Office study released Tuesday projected to be a $197 billion surplus in government revenue generated by the bill would be used to implement the enforcement measures.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said the bill would “create economy growth in the country” — “Take the CBO’s word for it,” he urged."

Cornyn expresses ‘shock and amazement’ at Corker-Hoeven border enforcement amendment

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

FISA Court (FISC) - Oversight or Rubber Stamp?

After last week's revelations extensive National Security Agency surveillance of phone and internet communications, President Barack Obama made it a point to assure Americans that, not to worry, there is plenty of oversight of his administration's snooping programs. "We've got congressional oversight and judicial oversight," he said Friday, referring in part to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which was created in 1979 to oversee Department of Justice requests for surveillance warrants against foreign agents suspected of espionage or terrorism in the United States.

FISA Court (FISC) - Oversight or Rubber Stamp? 
 But the FISC has declined just 11 of the more than 33,900 surveillance requests made by the government in 33 years, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. That's a rate of .03 percent, which raises questions about just how much judicial oversight is actually being provided.
"The FISA system is broken," Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told the Journal. "At the point that a FISA judge can compel the disclosure of millions of phone records of US citizens engaged in only domestic communications, unrelated to the collection of foreign intelligence…there is no longer meaningful judicial review.  FISA Court Has Rejected .03 Percent Of All Government Surveillance Requests
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Lied to Congress on Domestic Spying

Friday, June 7, 2013

Targeting Conservatives: An IRS Political Timeline

An IRS Political Timeline

President Obama spent months in 2010 warning Americans about the 'threat' to democracy posed by conservative groups, right at the time the IRS began targeting these groups.

Perhaps the only useful part of the inspector general's audit of the IRS was its timeline. We know that it was August 2010 when the IRS issued its first "Be On the Lookout" list, flagging applications containing key conservative words and issues. The criteria would expand in the months to come.
What else was happening in the summer and fall of 2010? The Obama administration and its allies continue to suggest the IRS was working in some political vacuum. What they'd rather everyone forget is that the IRS's first BOLO list coincided with their own attack against "shadowy" or "front" conservative groups that they claimed were rigging the electoral system.
Below is a more relevant timeline, a political one, which seeks to remind readers of the context in which the IRS targeting happened.

Aug. 9, 2010: In Texas, President Obama for the first time publicly names a group he is obsessed with—Americans for Prosperity (founded by the Koch Brothers)—and warns about conservative groups. Taking up a cry that had until then largely been confined to left-wing media and activists, he says: "Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads . . . And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation."
Aug. 11: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sends out a fundraising email warning about "Karl Rove-inspired shadow groups."
Aug. 21: Mr. Obama devotes his weekly radio address to the threat of "attack ads run by shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names. We don't know who's behind these ads and we don't know who's paying for them. . . . You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation. . . . The only people who don't want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.

 Barack Obama address August 21 2010

Week of Aug. 23: The New Yorker's Jane Mayer authors a hit piece on the Koch brothers, entitled "Covert Operations," in which she accuses them of funding "political front groups." The piece repeats the White House theme, with Ms. Mayer claiming the Kochs have created "slippery organizations with generic-sounding names" that have "made it difficult to ascertain the extent of their influence in Washington."
Aug. 27: White House economist Austan Goolsbee, in a background briefing with reporters, accuses Koch industries of being a pass-through entity that does "not pay corporate income tax." The Treasury inspector general investigates how it is that Mr. Goolsbee might have confidential tax information. The report has never been released.
This same week, the Democratic Party files a complaint with the IRS claiming the Americans for Prosperity Foundation is violating its tax-exempt status. 

 Read More:
 An IRS Political Timeline @WSJ

WSJ Reporter Discusses the Targeting of Conservatives

The IRS and the 'evolving' story

Related Blog:
Obama's IRS Targets Conservative Groups-Leaks Info

Obama's Domestic Electronic Surveillance - Web of Deception

"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper during the March 12 hearing.
In response, Clapper replied quickly: "No, sir." 
All Ears
"There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect [intelligence on Americans], but not wittingly," the U.S. intelligence chief told Wyden and the rest of the committee.
That said, "particularly in the case of NSA and CIA, there are structures against tracking American citizens in the United States for foreign intelligence purposes," Clapper added.
Both agencies are focused on foreign intelligence collection, "and that's what those agencies are set up to do," he added.
Conducting surveillance on Americans inside U.S. borders is something "they do not engage in," the intelligence chief added. 
Read more at The Hill:

Director of National Intelligence Tells Congress the NSA Isn't Spying Domestically

NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily

Exclusive: Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama
"The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.
The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19."
Read More at the Guardian:

Obama Administration's NSA Phone Record Sweep

President Obama’s Dragnet

Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.
The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it
 Read more at the NYTimes:
 President Obama’s Dragnet