Al-Shabaab is taking issue with British Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement that the horrific cleaver attack on a Brit by men wanting their actions to be filmed wasn’t a representation of Islam.
The Metropolitan Police and the Ministry of Defence confirmed today that the victim was a serving soldier. In line with the wishes of his family his identity will not be released at this stage, the UK government said.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, the man wielding a bloody knife and cleaver in the now infamous video of the attack, reportedly was raised Christian but became “obsessed” with Islam as a teenager, the Daily Mail reports.
“Britain works with our international partners to make the world safe from terrorism, terrorism that has taken more Muslim lives than any other religion,” Cameron said yesterday. It is an utter perversion of the truth to pretend anything different. That is why there is absolutely no justification for these acts and the fault for them lies solely and purely with the sickening individuals who carried out this appalling attack.”
Cameron called the “shocking” attack “not just an attack on Britain” but “also a betrayal of Islam – and of the Muslim communities who are give so much to our country.”
“There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act,” he said.
Al-Qaeada-linked Somali terror group Al-Shabaab disagreed with that in a series of tweets from its official media arm this morning.
What Cameron describes as a “sickening” attack is what innocent Muslim woman and children are subjected to every day by #British troops
— HSMPress (@HSMPRESS1) May 23, 2013
It is not a “betrayal” of Islam as he’d put it but rather a “portrayal” of Islam. Don’t expect Muslims to simply turn the other cheek! — HSMPress (@HSMPRESS1) May 23, 2013
It’s a timely reminder to the repugnant lot at No.10 that Muslims are fully conscious of their heinous atrocities against Islam and Muslims — HSMPress (@HSMPRESS1) May 23, 2013
The death of the wretched Kafir is insignificant compared to the deaths of hundreds of innocent Muslims at the hands of British soldiers
— HSMPress (@HSMPRESS1) May 23, 2013
Toulouse, Boston, Woolwich…Where next?You just have to grin and bear it, it’s inevitable. A case of the chickens coming home to roost!
— HSMPress (@HSMPRESS1) May 23, 2013
House Speaker John Boehner told Fox host Greta van Sustern Wednesday that the White House’s claim that President Obama knew nothing of the IRS scandal until the IG’s report was imminent doesn’t make much sense.
“It’s pretty inconceivable to me that the president wouldn’t know,” Boehner said. Boehner noted that he has conversations with his own senior staff every day, and an issue like the IRS scandal would surely come up. So far, the White House has disclosed in piecemeal that the president’s chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and counsel knew about the scandal at least by April 2013. The deputy chief of staff, Mark Childress, even helped the IRS roll the scandal out to the public via a planted question.
Yet the White House insists that knowledge of the scandal magically stopped a couple of doors down from the president.
Today, President Obama will try to change the subject, announcing new plans to get the detained terrorists out of Gitmo and sent elsewhere. That gambit shouldn’t work, and should expose him to a harrowing yet fair charge: Over the course of his political life, Barack Obama has shown far more interest in the plight of captured terrorists than in the plight of innocent Americans abused at the hands and under the boots and at the point of the guns of his executive branch agencies.
Maine’s new Independent senator is joining with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in an effort to mandate independent analysis if the government decides to target an American.
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) and Rubio, both members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today introduced the Targeted Strike Oversight Reform Act of 2013, or TSOR Act. It comes a day after the administration admitted killing four Americans in drone strikes and on the same day President Obama is giving a speech at the National Defense University on the administration’s counterterrorism policy.
The bill requires that an independent alternative analysis, commonly referred to as a “red-team analysis,” be conducted if the government is considering the legality or the use of targeted lethal force against a known U.S. person, Rubio’s office said.
“What this bill does that is unique is require an independent review of Administration activities that target American citizens or U.S. persons for lethal strike,” Rubio said. “This legislation provides a new layer of accountability and ensures the American people are informed through prompt notification to the congressional intelligence committees. In no way does this bill tie the president’s hands to defend the nation or impede operators from targeting terrorists knowingly engaged in acts of international terrorism against the United States who happen to be U.S. persons.”
“Our nation is facing serious threats to our security – and it is vital that our government have the tools and the authority to prevent terrorists from killing Americans. I also firmly believe that the Executive Branch being the prosecutor, the judge, the jury, and the executioner is very contrary to the traditions and laws upon which this nation was founded,” King said.
“As the president takes steps to shed more light on these policies, I believe this bill will complement those efforts by providing the framework for an independent review of such consequential decisions,” he added.
According to the legislation, once an intelligence agency has determined that targeted lethal force should be used against an American engaged in terrorism abroad several reviews would be triggered.
This includes notification to the Director of National Intelligence, the inspector general of the intelligence community, and the congressional intelligence committees regarding the identity of the U.S. person and the results of the red-team alternative analysis. The red team would be established by the DNI and be led by a person who doesn’t report to the intelligence agency making the request. They would have 15 days to complete the review and report back.
Despite the fact that Christian martyrdom under the militant Roman Empire has long been an unquestioned historical fact, Candida Moss in her new book The Myth of Persecution claims that it was largely a “myth,” that many of history’s best known narratives of Christian martyrs were entirely fabricated.
Failure to comply: Saint Sebastian, who was ordered killed by the Roman emperor Diocletian.
This thesis, as most modern-day academic theses concerning early history, is fundamentally based on conjecture, projections, and above all, anachronisms—the sort that earlier turned Christ into a homosexual hippie and Muhammad into a humanitarian feminist. Neither Moss nor anyone else can prove or disprove what the primary historical texts say—that Roman persecution of Christians was very real, widespread, and brutal.
We weren’t there.
But from an objective point of view, is it not more reasonable to accept the many testimonies of contemporary eyewitnesses, than it is the conjectures of a politically charged book that is separated from its subject by 2,000 years?
Among other ideas unintelligible and inapplicable to the ancient world, Moss invokes “T-shirts,” “favorite athletes,” and “brands of soda” to “prove” that the ancient narrative of Christians tortured and killed for their faith was all a gag to make a profit: “Martyrs were like the action heroes of the ancient world,” Moss says. “It was like getting your favorite athlete endorsing your favorite brand of soda. …Of course, the prices were completely jacked up.”
In short, the merit of Moss’ thesis rests in the fact that it satisfies a certain anti-Christian sentiment, that it satisfies a modern-day political perspective—and not that it offers any facts or serious arguments. By projecting cynical postmodern perspectives onto the mentalities of both Romans and Christians, who lived worlds and centuries away, the thesis is ultimately farcical.
Even so, let’s tackle the myth charge from a different angle. Let’s leave the question of eyewitnesses, texts, and traditions, and instead rely on common sense—that which is in short supply in the academic community. The fact is, we can often learn about the past by looking at the present. If at least 100 million Christians are currently being persecuted today, in an era when Western ideas of humanitarianism and religious tolerance have permeated the rest of the world—is it not reasonable to conclude that 2,000 years ago, when “might made right” and brutally prevailed, that Christians were also being persecuted then, especially when contemporary sources indicate as much?
Consider the modern Islamic world alone, where today’s overwhelming majority of horrific Christian persecution occurs, as documented in my new book Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians. Today in the 21st century, Christians under Islam are still being tortured, imprisoned, enslaved, and killed; their churches and Bibles are routinely banned or burned.
Why is that? Because Islam is a supremacist cult, which brooks no opposition and demands conformity, one way or the other: Islamic law (see Koran 9:29) teaches that those who come under its hegemony must either convert, or keep their faith but live as ostracized third-class citizens (dhimmis), or die. The supremacist culture of the Roman Empire—an even older martial cult devoted to the gods of war—was not much different…. Continue Reading
There’s been much reporting about the ridiculous review process the Coalition for Life of Iowa was subjected to during their process to become a tax-exempt group. One question related to the content of their prayers, and an IRS agent is reported to have told the pro-life group that “your application’s ready to go. However, it will not be approved until you send a letter signed by your entire board under penalty of perjury saying that you will not protest at Planned Parenthood.” Now, it seems the IRS targeted adoptive families in what is rapidly becoming an agency that is running amok in Washington.
David French wrote in National Review yesterday that:
In 2012, the IRS requested additional information from 90 percent of returns claiming the adoption tax credit and went on to actually audit 69 percent. More details from the Taxpayer Advocate Service:
During the 2012 filing season, 90 percent of returns claiming the refundable adoption credit were subject to additional review to determine if an examination was necessary. The most common reasons were income and a lack of documentation.
■ Sixty-nine percent of all adoption credit claims during the 2012 filing season were selected for audit.
■ Of the completed adoption tax credit audits, over 55 percent ended with no change in the tax owed or refund due in fiscal year 2012. The median refund amount involved in these audits is over $15,000 and the median adjusted gross income (AGI) of the taxpayers involved is about 64,000. The average adoption credit correspondence audit currently takes 126 days, causing a lengthy delay for taxpayers waiting for refunds.
While many returns had missing or incomplete information (more on that in a moment), what was the outcome of this massive audit campaign? Not much:
Despite Congress’ express intent to target the credit to low and middle income families, the IRS created income-based rules that were responsible for over one-third of all additional reviews in FY2012.
■ Of the $668.1 million in adoption credit claims in tax year (TY) 2011 as a result of adoption credit audits, the IRS only disallowed $11 million — or one and one-half percent — in adoption credit claims. However, the IRS has also had to pay out $2.1 million in interest in TY 2011 to taxpayers whose refunds were held past the 45-day period allowed by law.
This issue does strike close to home. As a Korean adoptee, I would hope the federal government would incentivize families willing to take in unwanted or abandoned children from overseas and at home. The process is incredibly expensive, and when families needed the assistance from the tax credit – all they got was a lousy audit.
[T]he IRS responded by implementing an audit campaign that delayed much-needed tax refunds to the very families that needed them the most. Oh, and the return on its investment in this harassment? Slightly more than 1 percent.
This audit wave got almost no media coverage, but what was the experience like for individual families? In a word, grueling. Huge document requests with short turnaround times were followed by lengthy IRS delays in processing, all with no understanding for the unique documentation challenges of international adoption.
As French concluded in his piece, he’s part of an adoptive family, and there are a multitude of stressful activities associated with the process. Besides the bureaucratic side of things, you have the possibility that you may need to carefully guide your child through culture shock, identity crisis, and other ailments associated with “not fitting into your environment.” Some Korean adoptees have struggled with this, and pondered if they’re Korean or American at heart. The same goes for any international adoptee. Luckily, I never experienced those issues, but as French aptly noted it’s just cruel to be subjected to an audit for such a low rate of return.
all of this [the adoption process] places a great strain on family finances and emotions. To then face an audit on the other side? All so the IRS can collect a whopping 1 percent additional revenue? It’s beyond the pale. If the IRS is concerned about fraud, it can audit random samples, not the vast majority of adoptive families claiming the credit.
Clearly, the IRS has been unhinged, unaccountable, and unethical for far too long. The agency is bordering in lawlessness. And attacking Americans for their political beliefs, and their choice to start, or expand, their families is simply outrageous. The liberal dogma of faith in government is misplaced in the extreme.
We should all take a break from politics to argue about food preferences once in a while. If you’re ever bored on social media, start a good In-N-Out vs Five Guys discussion. Unless you’re a Five Guys person, of course.
Tonight’s culinary question involves favorite hot dog toppings. I’m pretty big tent when it comes to this.
It’s the same pattern with the leftist apologists after every attack: talk about anything but the fact that yet another gruesome murder was committed in the name of Islam. Why be outraged that some terrorist psycho is beheading people when you can get your feelings hurt by Sean and Michelle?
The media and leaders who refuse to acknowledge and condemn radical Islam each time something like this happens become more and more complicit in these horrors as they occur. The danger isn’t just Islamic terrorism, it’s the political correctness that allows it to continue.
Hey, keep throwing stuff at the wall and something is bound to stick.
The Obama administration is set to restart transfers of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, U.S. officials said, kick-starting a long-stalled drive to close the prison.
In a speech Thursday, President Barack Obama will reassert his case that closing Guantanamo is crucial to U.S. counterterrorism goals. While he isn’t planning to detail how to speed up transfers from the prison, officials said the president in coming weeks plans to lift the administration’s prohibition on sending detainees to Yemen.
The president also is set to lay down the broader outlines of his administration’s approach to efforts to fight al Qaeda and its affiliates, including through the use of unmanned aircraft strikes.
Gone are the halcyon post-inauguration days when the breathless sycophants in the media were sure both comprehensive gun-grabbing and immigration would be done deals or well on their way to happening by now. The Court of the Idiot King is scandal plagued and in disarray so why not dig deep for an old favorite to throw at the faithful?
Maybe he can fire up the old “policies of the previous administration” line too, since that is always a hit at the Low Info dance.
The Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus is helping the economy recover but the central bank needs to see further signs of traction before taking its foot off the gas pedal, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
A decision to scale back the $85 billion in bonds the Fed is buying each month could come at one of the central bank’s “next few meetings” if the economy looked set to maintain momentum, Bernanke told Congress.
But minutes from the Fed’s most recent meeting released on Wednesday showed the bar was still relatively high.
“Many participants indicated that continued (job market) progress, more confidence in the outlook, or diminished downside risks would be required before slowing the pace of purchases,” according to minutes from the April 30-May 1 meeting.
In testimony that showed little immediate desire to retreat from the Fed’s third and latest round of bond buying, Bernanke emphasized the high costs of both unemployment and inflation, which respectively continue to run above and below the Fed’s targets.
The gist of these reviews for several months has been “What we’re doing isn’t really working well but this whole mess is so fragile it may REALLY fall apart if we stop anytime soon.”
And Obamacare hasn’t even had a chance to wreak its havoc yet.
Four more years.
While Obama’s approval ratings are unscathed for now, the election map for the 2014 midterms is very different. Liberals’ fetishism with gun control cost the president his most precious moments of his second term, it went down in flames, and made the election map more favorable towards Republicans. Now, with the AP, Benghazi, and IRS scandals dominating the news cycle, will it carry over until next year?
It certainly looks that way, especially with the revelation that the IRS targeted conservatives for their political beliefs. It was already a suspicion amongst Tea Party groups, and now they’re vindicated. Furthermore, the IRS draws the ire of the right anyway – and coupled with malfeasance – could mean turnout gold by the time 2014 rolls around. To make things more sweeter for Republicans, Democrats have yet to field a heavyweight candidate in any of their senate races. Mitch McConnell, who is beatable next year, campaigns against no one for the time being.
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin cited Stuart Rothenberg today on how these scandals could lead to a replay of the 1974 elections when Republicans got shellacked after Nixon left the White House in disgrace. Rothenberg noted that:
[t]he Obama scandals put the White House “on the defensive and should boost enthusiasm on the political right throughout this year…. Given the different natures of midterm electorates, the new political narrative increases the risk for Democratic candidates in red states, where Democrats must win independent and, in many cases, Republican voters to be successful.”
Rubin wrote that the following races have changed due to these developments.
- West Virginia (Open seat; John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV, a Democrat, is retiring): From tossup/tilt Republican to lean Republican.
- South Dakota (Open seat; Tim Johnson, a Democrat, is retiring): From tossup/tilt Republican to lean Republican.
- Arkansas (Mark Pryor, a Democrat): From tossup/tilt Democratic to pure tossup.
- Louisiana (Mary L. Landrieu, a Democrat): From tossup/tilt Democratic to pure tossup.
- Alaska (Mark Begich, a Democrat): From lean Democratic to tossup/tilt Democratic.
- North Carolina (Kay Hagan, a Democrat): From lean Democratic to tossup/tilt Democratic.
Like with Nixon, the Obama administration is on defense, and the political narrative has changed. Nixon was unable to reap the benefits of removing the United States from Vietnam, as Obama is unable to pursue his second term agenda since these scandals have 1/3 of all House committees investigating some aspect of his presidency. Finally, the frivolous and hopelessly idealistic aura of hope and change that Obama proudly capitalized on is tarnished. Yet, Rubin also mentioned that Republican overreach during the Monica Lewinsky scandal cost them five House seats, with no gains in the senate.
These scandals may or may not be as bad as Watergate, but 2014 could be a lot like 1974. Richard Nixon wasn’t on the ballot; he’d already been forced to leave office.Republicans lost nearly 50 House seats and four Senate seats, ceding control of both houses to the Dems. Before anyone belabors the point that no one thinks Obama will resign, understand that the point of the reference is to remind us that scandal-plagued White Houses are bad for their own party in midterms. The counter-example is 1998 when the Republicans were perceived as going nuts on the Monica Lewinsky scandal and lost five seats in the House and gained none in the Senate. (Not since 1934 did the party out of power in the White House fail to make gains in the midterm of the president’s second term.)
To sum up, Democrats are kidding themselves if they think the scandals aren’t bad news for 2014, but Republicans must stick to the facts and appear judicious in order to capitalize in the midterms.
We have a golden opportunity to cut the achilles tendon of this administration – and halt the expansion of liberalism run amok. The latter of which is the most important goal of winning in 2014.
This came to us from a reader.
Listening to an audio eyewitness account (presumably UK radio) of today’s London terror attack , I noticed the following noteworthy exchange:
Eyewitness: “(after dumping the body in the road)…they then went back to the park. They’re standing there, oh, with a knife in the hand, waving the gun about. I’m on the phone to the police telling them ‘you need to get them here, where are they?’ They took 20 minutes to arrive, the police, the armed response.
Radio Host: “And were there any other police there before the armed response?
Eyewitness: “There were police at the end of the road, they weren’t coming just because I think … they had a firearm. You could see police, but there was no police in the vicinity of the armed attackers.”
The above exchange starts around 2:30
A government that refuses to confront murderers will soon lose its legitimacy. On the other hand, at least PM Cameron was not slow at all to describe the crime as terrorism.
Al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric, was killed in a drone strike in September 2011 in Yemen. Holder said three other Americans were killed by drones in counterterrorism operations since 2009 but were not targeted. The three are Samir Khan, who was killed in the same drone strike as al-Awlaki; al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, a native of Denver, who also was killed in Yemen two weeks later; and Jude Kenan Mohammed, who was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan.
“Since entering office, the president has made clear his commitment to providing Congress and the American people with as much information as possible about our sensitive counterterrorism operations,” Holder told Leahy, D-Vt. “To this end, the president has directed me to disclose certain information that until now has been properly classified.”
This administration is purposely schizophrenic on terrorism. It’ll drone select terrorists lurking overseas, but so far isn’t lifting a finger to apprehend the terrorists who attacked the US facility at Benghazi last September. Obama wants to avoid the optics of capturing them and then sticking them at Gitmo, and seems to prefer local proceedings to be done against transnational terrorists (some were from Yemen) who attacked and killed four Americans in a quasi-state. The optics of killing them without trial is better than keeping them alive at Gitmo? It is, in the sense that dead terrorists don’t have lawyers and don’t wage hunger strikes and, because they’re dead, no one agitates on their behalf anymore.
No one, like Barack Obama, who campaigned on closing the terrorist holding pen at Gitmo and has yet to fulfill that promise. Basically, we’re looking at the effect of Sen. Barack Obama’s disagreement with President Barack Obama. An Obama divided against itself cannot stand.
The General Services Administration finally figured out that the U.S. government could save money on cell phone bills if it signed up for a family plan.
The GSA inked agreements with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon for a new government-wide blanket purchase agreement that consolidates service plans, saving some $300 million over five years.
“By buying in bulk, we’re buying once and we’re buying well,” said GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini. “This common sense approach allows us to do what families and businesses across America do every day. We’re driving down costs, increasing efficiency and improving service and operations. These agreements give agencies the ability to pool minutes, order plans and devices more efficiently and have greater visibility into their purchases.”
Yesterday, President Obama nominated Tangherlini to be the agency’s administrator.
“As Acting Director, Dan helped restore the trust of the American people in the General Services Administration by making the agency more efficient, accountable and transparent,” Obama said. Tangherlini assumed his current role in April 2012 to help mop up from the Vegas conference scandal of lavish expenditures.
A single government-wide option with the ability to pool minutes is a first for the federal government, the GSA said today. Instead of racking up overage fees, agencies will be able to dip into a pool of unused minutes.
Federal agencies spend an estimated $1.3 billion on wireless services and mobile devices annually.
That’s all we have for now, but it’s dangerous to Question the Narrative on the IRS.
I also talked to Bill Whittle and Scott Ott about this on today’s Trifecta, but that’s before Dana Loesch broke the news about his firing.
Just about every comic superhero has a nemesis whose mind has been twisted by something. Usually it’s revenge. And usually, the supervillain gets to a position where he (most supervillains are men) has unlimited time to work his schemes, and unlimited resources to carry his scheme out. Supervillains tend to be arrogant pieces of work who follow a Dostoyevskyan path in which they believe that they are above normal morals and rules, at least until the superhero catches them, foils their plot and tosses them into Arkham Asylum or whichever super prison belongs to that particular comic canon.
Now consider: Mike Bloomberg is short and kind of elfen looking. He is richer than many whole countries and will soon have unlimited time on his hands once he leaves office in January. He has spent some part of his vast fortune on trying to get people to disarm themselves, or force them to disarm. Who but a villain with devious plans on his mind wants law-abiding people to be disarmed? He keeps telling people what to eat and drink and even scolds new moms about breastfeeding. Arrogance? Check.
Mayor Bloomberg went on a spitting-mad rant against a city cab-fleet boss who won a court victory over Hizzoner’s planned “Taxi of Tomorrow” — vowing to “destroy your f–king industry” when he leaves office, The Post has learned.
A fuming Bloomberg made the threat against Taxi Club Management CEO Gene Freidman at Madison Square Garden’s private 1879 Club during last Thursday’s Knick playoff game, a witness said yesterday.
“It was like Gene had kidnapped his child. He used the f-word twice,” the witness said.
Freidman confirmed the blow-up to The Post, and said Bloomberg’s tirade included the warning that, “After January, I am going to destroy all you f–king guys.”
“I saw Bloomberg and his security there in the club, so I went over and said, ‘Tell me what is going on with the Taxi of Tomorrow?’ ” Freidman, 42, said yesterday.
“He turns to me, and said, ‘Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f–king industry.’
“I said, ‘Whoa, Mr. Mayor, calm down! Why can’t I sit down with you and figure out something that works?’ He got back in my face and said, ‘After January, I am going to destroy all you f–king guys,’ ” said Freidman, whose company operates a fleet of 925 yellow cabs.
Freidman said a red-faced Bloomberg’s jaw was clenched.
What is Bloomberg’s evil mind scheming? And who stands ready to stop him? Must New York depend on Weinerman to rescue them?
A man thought to be a British soldier has been killed by Islamist terrorists in a horrific attack in broad daylight in a London street. Two men ran the victim over with a car before hacking him to death with knives and a machete, while shouting “Allahu Akbar.”
The attackers apparently filmed themselves carrying out the killing, and invited stunned bystanders to take photos and video of them posing beside their victim. Video has been aired on ITV news of one of the attackers brandishing a blood-stained machete and shouting at bystanders, as onlookers tried to help the slain man. He’s heard saying “I apologize that women had to witness this today, but in our lands women have to see the same.” Judging by the accent of the man speaking in the video, he’s either British born or has spent some years in the country, making it likely that the terrorists were “home-grown,” rather than from outside the country.
Other news outlets have reported that one of the men said, “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.”
When armed police arrived on the scene (British police officers are not routinely armed), the attackers confronted them with knives a handgun, and both were shot and wounded. They’re now under guard at London hospitals, and it’s not known at this stage whether they acted alone or are part of a larger plot; however, it’s clear that they had no fear of being killed or captured, and may well have intended to be “martyred.”
The attack took place in Woolwich in south-east London at 2.20 p.m. local time. The victim is believed to be a soldier based at the nearby Woolwich barracks, home to elements of the Royal Artillery; he was wearing a T-shirt from the charity Help for Heroes, which raises money for injured British soldiers.
One witness told a London radio station: “These two guys were crazed. They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there.”
The IRS scandal was always about politics.
In the very month that ObamaCare passed, March 2010, the groups of Americans that were organizing to fight against ObamaCare were targeted by the agency that will implement ObamaCare. That’s the essence of the scandal. But it is not the full extent of it.
IRS workers union chief Colleen Kelley had access to President Obama and, according to White House logs, met with him on March 31, 2010. The abuse of Tea Party, conservative, Hispanic, pro-life, Christian, and Jewish groups, which must have been in the works for weeks or even months prior, formally began the following day. Americans became April Fools for continuing to believe that we had a government of the people, by the people and for the people. As of April 1, 2010, we had a government arraying itself against the people, or at least against some of the people. According to polls taken at the time, a majority opposed ObamaCare. So it could be said that the IRS was arrayed against a majority of American voters who were organizing to protest the government’s expansion under Obama.
The abuse continued through 2010 and 2011, right into 2012 and to the present. True the Vote, for instance, still has not been granted its tax-exempt status to this day. It filed suit against the IRS yesterday. Its founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, was subjected to Kafka-esque abuses not just by the IRS, but by an alphabet soup of executive branch agencies: the FBI, OSHA, and ATF joined in.
The executive branch of our government is topped by the president. The IRS, which answers to his chosen appointee at the Department of the Treasury, abused his critics and opponents, up to and through a mid-term he and his party lost, and through a close re-election that he ultimately won. We may have to put an asterisk after that, though: It’s possible now to assert, based on the evidence, that the IRS helped him win. Just as performance-enhancing steroids helped a generation of baseball players crank home runs they may not have hit without the drugs, the IRS may have been Barack Obama’s electoral performance-enhancing agency and helped him win an election he otherwise may have lost.
Do you remember this controversial John McCain presidential campaign television spot targeted against then-Senator Barack Obama in the middle of the heated 2008 election?
Here’s the script:
Announcer: He’s the biggest celebrity in the world.
But, is he ready to lead?
With gas prices soaring, Barack Obama says no to offshore drilling.
And, says he’ll raise taxes on electricity.
Higher taxes, more foreign oil, that’s the real Obama.
This ad caused the mainstream media (MSM) who were in the midst of their “slobbering love affair” with Senator Obama to pause briefly for self-examination.
The gravity of the ad’s message forced the MSM to acknowledge that they built the alter upon which the “biggest celebrity in the world” was now standing — while continuing to lead the world’s worship of him.
Here is a sentence from the New York Times report on the TV spot dated July 30, 2008:
This ad’s imagery highlights the McCain view that Mr. Obama offers more sizzle than substance, a theme that the Republican candidate has been trying to underscore on the campaign trail.
“More sizzle than substance.” That nicely summed up Senator Obama in July of 2008. But of course the NYT piece did not delve into the possibility that the statement was true. Nor did the MSM investigate or honestly ask themselves the question posed in the ad, “But is he ready to lead?”
Now fast forward to 2013.
Our proven to be “more sizzle than substance” president, not only pleads ignorance about the details of the numerous scandals engulfing his administration, but uses ignorance as both a defense and a badge of honor.
It appears that “ignorance” has joined “blame” as the most useful tools in Obama’s leadership kit.
So looking back, how has the “biggest celebrity in the world” handled his celebrity?
The answer appears to be, “like an addiction.”
An addiction might explain President Obama’s non-stop campaigning and the obvious self-worth he garners from appearing before adoring crowds — no matter how poorly he is performing in Washington. His celebrity addition could also explain why Obama consistently surrounds himself with celebrities who worship him, thus causing their fan base to worship them even more. Let’s call this a celebrity circle of love.
As the second term of President Obama continues to unravel, those of us who were never sucked in by “the sizzle” will be watching with fascination how the show finally ends for “the biggest celebrity in the world.”
It might even be a tragic ending now that his once adoring MSM has finally begun to widely criticize his performance.
Here’s Dr. Charles Willey on how the IRS has usurped Congress:
Contrary to the clear legislative language in ObamaCare, the administration is directly impeding my ability to design a health plan with proper incentives and long-term affordability for my own employees.
I have always offered quality health insurance to my own employees, striving for a benefit design which increases their short-term economic incentive to become and remain healthy.
As a physician, I know this is a critical strategy to fight chronic illness, especially self-manageable conditions such as obesity, COPD and most type 2 diabetes.
The IRS has, unlawfully, substantively rewritten the employer mandate in the ACA by expanding its enforcement into states where the clear language of the ACA says it does not apply.
The law is only for little people. And as we’ve learned these last few days, the IRS isn’t little people.
Is the worm turning against Barack Obama? After four-plus years of being given the benefit of the doubt by the bulk of the US media, the President now suddenly feels more vulnerable.
Today both the New York Times and the Washington Post have run prominent and angry editorials and columns slamming the administration for its attempt to criminalise a Fox News reporter James Rosen for working a State Department source to obtain a story.
The “Rosen Affair” – as it is now known – is poisoning the well in Washington at an alarming rate for Mr Obama, with an indignant White House press corps now battering the official spokesman Jay Carney at his daily briefings to the point where Politico is running speculative stories wondering whether it’s time for him to go.
While it is critical for the MSM to remain more loyal to themselves than to the president at this point there is no reason to believe that they will actually do so for any length of time. The relationship between the lapdogs and The Idiot King has been a very one-sided, abusive one at best. On the rare occasions that the press has found themselves questioning their idol they have usually returned to covering for the very thing they were curious about in a matter of days.
This is a big moment in history for the First Amendment and, unfortunately, those who benefit most from it have also been neglecting it at their peril for far too long.
Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman was asked at today’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today why he visited the White House 118 times in 2010 and 2011:
For the record, the White House only holds an Easter Egg Roll once a year.
Secretary of State John Kerry reminded employees at the U.S. Embassy in Muscat, Oman, of the terror attack in Benghazi but said they need to keep proving to the world “that you don’t have to hate people.”
Kerry was in the sultanate to facilitate the inking of a $2.1 billion arms and missile defense system deal with Raytheon and the Omani government.
“This system, which has been selected by the Sultanate of Oman following a thorough evaluation and assessment process, offers high levels of effectiveness, capable of meeting the operational requirements of the Royal Air Force of Oman and providing seamless air protection by virtue of its cutting edge air defense technology,” the State Department said in a statement.
“You are lucky to be in a wonderful place like Oman. It is so beautiful, so beautiful,” Kerry told Embassy workers. “And I had a wonderful meeting with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos yesterday. He is a very, very thoughtful, wise leader who spends a lot of time thinking about issues, as I think you know. And we value — we being the United States and a lot of people in the world — value his sense of the future and his efforts to try to diversify the economy, build for the future, listen to people.”
“Obviously, there is a transition taking place throughout the Middle East, throughout the Arab world, and nobody quite knows sort of how it’s all going to unfold. But some leaders have been ahead of the curve and looking carefully at how to empower people, create a transition, but do it in a way that’s thoughtful and works for everybody. And I think that His Majesty has been particularly thoughtful about that.”
Kerry thanked the regional security officer as “many of us have learned through sad events in various parts of the world that security is always an issue.”
Later in his address, he noted “some sad events, some difficult events, over the last year with Benghazi, and Ankara, Turkey and some other places.”
“What we are doing is engaged in trying to reach out to people in the world and prove to people that peace is possible, that relationships are possible, that you don’t have to hate people, that you don’t have to blow people up that you’ve never met, don’t know, and have no real agenda that would improve things, just blow people up, create terror without any organizing principle around which life is going to be better for people,” the secretary said.
“We have a different point of view. And happily, we share it with most of the people of the world. Most people on this planet want peace. Most people on this planet would like nothing more than to live their lives free of oppression and torture and violence. And it takes work to push back against those things. Because we saw what happened in the last century with World War I and World War II, with Korea and Vietnam, and the Cold War. We can spend a lot of money fighting, or we can do a lot to invest in people, in education, in health, and in the possibilities of life, let families grow up without burying their children. So I think this effort that we are all engaged in to reach out to other countries, to cross cultural barriers, to try to promote your values but not do it a way that is oppressive and that doesn’t give people choice.”
“I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws,” Lois Lerner, head of the IRS tax-exempt unit, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any congressional committee,” she said. “Because I am asserting my right not to testify, I know that some people will assume that I have done something wrong. I have not.”
That Lerner chose to give an opening statement before asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination angered some lawmakers.
You can be certain that statement comes with an expiration date.
Meanwhile, Ezra Klein has bravely declared that “heads should roll” at the IRS:
Put simply, firing civil servants takes a long time, creates a lot of hassle for management, and needs to be for cause. If it’s not for cause, the termination can be overturned, and the entire process would be for naught. This can lead to excessive reluctance on the part of management to go through the trouble of firing anyone. But what remains unclear in the IRS case is whether the directors even wanted to fire anyone.
In other words, Ezra’s “brave” declaration comes with plenty of room for (Administration-approved?) foot-dragging.
It’s gonna be a long, hot summer.
A senator on the Finance Committee says he believes former IRS commissioner Doug Shulman is being coached on his testimony before Congress.
Shulman, who stepped down three days after President Obama’s re-election, testified before the Finance Committee yesterday and is a witness before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this morning.
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) chided Shulman for answering “I don’t know” most of the time.
“I’m not an attorney, but I’ve been in enough depositions to watch somebody who’s been coached by an attorney. I think he was advised by an attorney not to make any statements, and he didn’t,” Isakson said last night on Fox.
“I only learned that there still is a culture in the IRS on this issue of mystery, of not disclosing everything that went on. There has to be a who, there has to be a when, there has to be a what. We’ve got to find out those answers. It just didn’t happen in Cincinnati with a handful of operatives,” he added.
However, the senator said he thinks the White House is being honest about its displays of outrage over the IRS scandal.
“It’s quite obvious when they planted a question at a press conference to finally get the information out, they were struggling with how the American people were going to learn of what’s a very bad situation in the IRS,” Isakson said.
Ok, it’s not a bar, but there was a meeting between the White House and IRS union boss Colleen Kelley back in 2010. The American Spectator and Breitbart have reported that President Obama met with Kelley the day before the IRS began its campaign against conservative groups. Jeffrey Lord over at the Spectator found this information perusing the White House logs, which he posted on May 20.
According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.
The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way:
Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30
The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:
April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.
In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS “Determinations Unit Program agreed” to open a “Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases.” As stated by the IG report.
The NTEU is the 150,000 member union that represents IRS employees along with 30 other separate government agencies. Kelley herself is a 14-year IRS veteran agent. The union’s PAC endorsed President Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles to anti-Tea Party candidates.
Something that may be missing from the IG report, according to Lord, is the fact that they didn’t review any of the White House’s emails, calls, or visitor logs. Additionally, Lord noticed another visit in 2009, where the NTEU was given more authority concerning the “day-to-day” operations of the IRS following the meeting.
Kelley is recorded as visiting the White House over a year earlier, listed in this fashion:
Kelley, Colleen Potus/Flotus 12/03/2009 18:30
The inclusion of “FLOTUS” — First Lady Michelle Obama — and the 6:30 pm time of the December event on this entry in the Visitors Log indicates this was the White House Christmas Party held that evening and written up here in the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sun-Times focused on party guests from the President’s home state of Illinois and did not mention Kelley. Notably, the Illinois guests, who are reported to have attended the same party as Kelley, included what the paper described as four labor “activists”: Dennis Gannon of the Chicago Federation of Labor, Tom Balanoff of the Service Employees International Union, Henry Tamarin of UNITE, and Ron Powell of the United Food and Commercial Workers.
Six days following Kelley’s attendance at the White House Christmas party with labor activists like herself, the President issued Executive Order 13522 (text found here, with an explanation here). The Executive Order, titled: “Creating Labor-Management Forums To Improve Delivery of Government Services” applied across the federal government and included the IRS. The directive was designed to:
Allow employees and unions to have pre-decisional involvement in all workplace matters….
With the revelation of the IRS’ alleged illegal activity, Kelley has sprinted into the bunker, and has been quiet about this fiasco since the story broke. Wynton Hall at Breitbart, who cited Lord’s story, wrote on May 20 that all that Kelley has said about his scandal is that:
“NTEU is working to get the facts but does not have any specifics at this time…moreover, IRS employees are not permitted to discuss taxpayer cases. We cannot comment further at this time.”
So, who’s digging around with this lead, besides the Spectator? It’s Bloomberg News.
Last Thursday at the President’s press conference with the Turkish prime minister, Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg News asked the following question, bold print for emphasis:
“Mr. President, I want to ask you about the IRS. Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions before your Counsel’s Office found out on April 22nd? And when they did find out, do you think that you should have learned about it before you learned about it from news reports as you said last Friday? And also, are you opposed to there being a special counsel appointed to lead the Justice Department investigation?”
The President’s response? (Again bold print emphasis.)
“But let me make sure that I answer your specific question. I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press.”
Take note: Goldman’s question was:
“Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions before your Counsel’s Office found out on April 22nd?”
Two meetings that ended with more power given to the NTEU, which precipitated the targeting of conservative groups – and the president doesn’t know anything? Additionally, while the president may or may not have know, his Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, knew last month before the story broke. So, while the Obama administration can admit to the incompetence of their most senior official on the White House staff not relaying this information to the president, questions still surround whether Obama “didn’t know anything about the IG report” since those two meetings with Kelley seem to be the epicenter of the malfeasance that engulfed the IRS.
This is starting to become the opening of a very bad joke.
Late Tuesday we reported that several lefty bloggers known to be very close to the Obama White House were in fact meeting in the White House. The meeting came a day ahead of hearings in which IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to testify to the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee. Lerner even refused to testify about her own previous statements on the IRS abuse scandal.
Today, we may be seeing the results of that Tuesday afternoon confab at the White House.
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) May 22, 2013
The synchronicity is striking.
It’s also an indication of just how worried the White House is, and how it intends to contain the scandal. First, get reliably friendly bloggers and columnists on board with a story that focuses attention away from the White House. Then, isolate and target someone who has already become a central figure in the scandal and, more importantly, who does not work directly for the White House. Finally, make it appear as if these reliably friendly bloggers actually take the IRS scandal seriously, so they become voices in the larger media advocating for a strong response — just strong enough to look decisive, while keeping the White House outside the main storyline.
The IRS official who first confessed the targeting of Tea Party and other groups in a planted question at a bar association event told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this morning that she’s refusing to answer questions because she’s innocent.
But that may not be the end of the story as Republican committee members seized on her potentially fumbled assertion of the right against self-incrimination.
“I have not done anything wrong, I have not broken any laws,” Lois Lerner, who oversees the IRS’ tax-exempt division, said at this morning’s hearing. “…I have not provided false information to this or any committee.”
“After very careful consideration I have decided to take the advice of counsel,” she said, and refused to answer questions.
Lerner said “some people will assume I have done something wrong; I have not.” She added that invoking the amendment also protects innocent people.
Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) noted she’s giving testimony twice before the committee previously and asked her to reconsider. He asked her to immediately consult with counsel about whether she actually asserted her Fifth Amendment right or if she waived it by giving an opening statement.
“I will not answer any questions or testify about the subject matter of this hearing,” Lerner said after shortly whispering with men sitting behind her.
“She just testified,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a former prosector, said angrily. “You don’t get to tell your side of the story and then not be subject to cross-examination.”
Many in the gallery applauded Gowdy.
“She does have a right, I think, and we have to adhere to that,” ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said.
Before leaving, Lerner declined to answer a few more questions from Issa. The chairman advised the IRS official that she’s subject to recall after the GOP majority seeks specific counsel on whether her Fifth Amendment right was properly waived.
Cincinnati’s Fox 19 TV has identified six IRS workers that worked on the stymied Tea Party group applications. According to the report, as the tax-exempt cases were delayed, they would have generated thousands of red flags within the system.
When an application for tax exempt status comes into the IRS, agents have 270 days to work through that application. If the application is not processed within those 270 days it automatically triggers flags in the system. When that happens, individual agents are required to input a status update on that individual case once a month, every month until the case is resolved.
Keep in mind, at least 300 groups were targeted out of Cincinnati alone. Those applications spent anywhere from 18 months to nearly 3 years in the system and some still don’t have their non-profit status. 300 groups multiplied by at least 18 months for each group, means thousands of red flags would have been generated in the system.
So who in the chain of command would have received all these flags? The answer, according to the IRS directory, one woman in Cincinnati, Cindy Thomas, the Program Manager of the Tax Exempt Division. Because all six of our IRS workers have different individual and territory managers, Cindy Thomas is one manager they all have common.
It turns out Cindy Thomas’ name is one we have heard before. The independent journalism group ProPublica says in November of 2012 they had requested information on conservatives groups that had received non-profit status. Along with that information, the IRS released private information on nine conservative groups that had not yet been approved and personal information had not been redacted. The person who signed off on that release, Cindy Thomas.
According to the report, Thomas is the highest ranking IRS official outside Washington who was involved in the determinations office and abuse of hundreds of groups across the country. She has not been subpoenaed, yet.
Fox 19′s report identifies at least six agents who were involved in the targeting. They all work for different supervisors. So as the story’s lead says, the agency’s story that the abuse was conducted by two rogue agents in Cincinnati has fallen completely apart. One of the people who proffered that story is expected to plead the Fifth Amendment in House testimony today.
And the disgraced ex-congressman even employs his wife, Huma Abedin, in his launch video to talk about his “big mistakes” and 64 ideas for New York:
Hey, if they’re not going to get me to a Mars colony any time soon, they might as well do something useful here.
Shocked, I tell you.
People will choose larger portions of food if they are labeled as being “healthier,” even if they have the same number of calories, according to a new study.
“People think (healthier food) is lower in calories,” said Pierre Chandon, a marketing professor at the INSEAD Social Science Research Center in France, and they “tend to consume more of it.”
That misconception can lead to people eating larger portion sizes of so-called healthy foods, and therefore more calories.
Some nimrod politician somewhere will use this as an excuse to get even more involved with our dietary choices. The stupid people are forever screwing things up for those of us who paid attention in the fourth grade.
With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news.
This is a seminal moment for the mainstream media. They’ve been shameless partisan hacks for this president since he was a candidate in 2008. For them to notice that he’s overreaching (the rest of us knew the emperor had no clothes long ago) is huge. Now that The Idiot King is a lame duck they migh-MIGHT-just have enough perspective left to realize that even the most loyal lapdogs among them could quickly find themselves out of favor and being targeted by the White House.
If they let this slide, they deserve as quick a demise as possible and they will have no one to blame but themselves.
So far, voters don’t seem to be abandoning President Barack Obama over controversies gripping the Beltway world. But White House aides are tempting fate with their reluctant, piecemeal and contradictory disclosures of what they knew and when they knew it, especially about a report on the Internal Revenue Service’s 18-month effort to target tea party and other conservative groups for special scrutiny.
The aides either have forgetten or are unable to implement the basic lesson of scandal control in Washington: Get the full story out — all of it — as fast as you can before your critics accuse you of a cover-up or worse.
Fineman goes on to mostly indict Jay Careney’s incessant buffoonery but paints a picture of a grossly incompetent response to a pretty big deal. I’m not the first to make this observation but it bears repeating: the press and hardcore fans of the Idiot King still speak as if he single-handedly killed Osama bin Laden because he’s the guy who is always in control. Now, in an effort to cover for him, they’re willing to portray him as an executive who has no control whatsoever over his people.
As we’ve seen so many times in the past five years, there seems to be a neverending supply of room under the Obama bus and it’s not inconceivable that the lapdog media is helping set up any number of White House staffers to throw under it to save the “historic” president.
Earlier tonight, Fox News’ Brett Baier reported that the seizure of phone records relating to reporter James Rosen went much farther than was initially believed. His parents’ phone records were evidently seized in the Department of Justice’s fishing expedition.
During a panel discussion on the Department of Justice seizing the phone records of Fox News’ James Rosen, Bret Baier revealed that the seizure included the phone records of Rosen’s parents. The entire panel agreed the scandal was an outrage, with Kirsten Powers pointing out that there have been a number of high-profile leaks from the Obama administration, but the only ones they seem interested in going after are the ones that make them look bad. Charles Krauthammer found it amazing that the government would make such a “huge assault on the first amendment” in trying to go after Rosen for doing his job.
Assaulting the First Amendment is well within the character of the Obama administration. It similarly attacked the free press in the AP phone records seizure, and a film maker still sits in one of the most obscure prisons in the country after the Obama government blamed the Benghazi terrorist attack on the movie that he made. The president also directly assault freedom of religion and free speech in his remarks to the UN Sept. 26, 2012, in which he said that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Who is he to dictate what “slander” is, whose prophet gets official protection, or to whom the future will belong? Through ObamaCare, Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services has made providing abortifacient drugs mandatory, in violation of millions of Americans’ right of religious conscience.
The Rosen case is merely a fresh outrage against the First Amendment piled atop the others, and it’s unlikely to be the last as long as this president remains in office.
And it gets even worse. According to Ryan Lizza, the DOJ sweep hit at least five phone lines at Fox and scores elsewhere.
The Obama Justice Department has seized the phone records of numbers that are associated with White House staffers and, apparently, with Fox News reporters, according to a document filed on October 13, 2011, in the case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a former State Department contractor accused of violating the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking classified information to James Rosen, a Fox News reporter. Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who is prosecuting the case, has seized records associated with two phone numbers at the White House, at least five numbers associated with Fox News, and one that has the same area code and exchange as Rosen’s personal-cell-phone number (the last four numbers are redacted).
In all, Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, has seized records associated with over thirty different phone numbers.