Saturday, June 1, 2013

'Happiness index' plummets for Hispanics, blacks and young in US...

Only a third of U.S. adults say they are very happy -- minorities show particularly pronounced declines in the past two years, a U.S. survey indicates. - Breitbart

Wealth of most Americans down 55%... - CBS

Rate Shock: In California, Obamacare To Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums By 64-146%

Last week, the state of California claimed that its version of Obamacare’s health insurance exchange would actually reduce premiums. - Avik Roy/Forbes

“These rates are way below the worst-case gloom-and-doom scenarios we have heard,” boasted Peter Lee, executive director of the California exchange. But the data that Lee released tells a different story: Obamacare, in fact, will increase individual-market premiums in California by as much as 146 percent.

One of the most serious flaws with Obamacare is that its blizzard of regulations and mandates drives up the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own.

(Follow ◼ @Avik on Twitter and Google+, and ◼ The Apothecary on Facebook.)

Obama's Student Loan Rate Proposal Saves Average Borrower 25¢ Per Day...

Despite tweets from the White House that seem to suggest the savings are annual ("Last year, President Obama helped students save an average of $1,000 on their college loans"), the footnote to the chart explains that the savings assumes the borrower "repays the loans over the expected period of 12 years." A savings of $1,126 over twelve years is $94 per year, or about 25¢ a day. - Weekly Standard


Friday May 31st - Pony Express Dance at the Sapphire Palace at Blue Lake Casino. Dance to Dr. Squid and wear your best looking boots to enter the boot contest.

Saturday June 1st - Parade & Festival - parade runs along Central Ave at 11am. Then head over to Pierson Park for a family festival from 12-4pm. Craft booths (HGOP has a booth), food, beer garden, St. John & the Sinners, kid activities, horseshoe tournament and more!

THEN: Sunday June 2nd - Gymkhana at the McKinleyville Rodeo Grounds at the Kjer Road arena

Not Satire: WaPo's Surreal Report on Holder's Off-the-Record "Press Freedom" Meeting

Click through to witness the pitiful spectacle of journalists quoting each other and vaguely discussing a meeting they've been barred from describing in any detail. - Guy Benson/Townhall

Eric Holder pledged to take "concrete steps" to address the actions of Eric Holder -- up to and (possibly) including backing legislative action that would curtail Eric Holder's ability to abuse Eric Holder's power. What a guy. Direct quotes would be priceless here, but those weren't allowed, of course. Instead, the DOJ very magnanimously permitted reporters to offer "general" accounts of what was discussed....

UPDATE - Eric Holder has decided to "loosen" the rules regarding what attending journalists are allowed to report. The contents of today's meetings are "largely" permitted for publication, whatever that means.

Washington Post: The Justice Department has allowed us to say AG Holder supports press freedom - Sean Higgins/Washington Examiner

Among those who did attend was the Washington Post. ◼ Today’s Post has an account of the meeting — sort of. That is, they have a story about what the Justice Department allowed them to say about its efforts to protect press freedom. The result is just beyond parody...

Friday, May 31, 2013

SIXTY years ago tomorrow a young Elizabeth Windsor was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey

Queen’s Elizabeth II 1953 - 2013: Coronation 60 years tomorrow -

Although Elizabeth had succeeded her father King George VI on his death the year before, it was not until June 2, 1953, that she was crowned.

And as the world watched, dazzled by the ancient rituals and awe-inspiring pomp, the 26-year-old made a solemn promise to serve her country.

There were 8,250 crammed into Westminster Abbey, a further three million people lining the streets of London, and in homes across the land an estimated 27 million saw the first ever televised Coronation.

Here royal expert William Shawcross pays tribute to our monarch, while The Sun’s Royal Photographer Arthur Edwards, who was 12 at the time of the Coronation, shares his memories of that special day.


The questions had been submitted jointly nearly two weeks ago by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT). - Joel Pollak//Breitbart

In a joint statement to Breitbart News, Baucus and Hatch said:
“It’s disappointing that the IRS failed to produce any of the documents requested by the Committee.
"This is an agency that revolves around making the American taxpayer meet hard deadlines each and every year when they file their taxes, oftentimes penalizing those that are late.

“The IRS needs to do much better.”
◼ FLASHBACK: Karl Rove: IRS did what Democrats wanted - (Obama's PR Media)

Rove said that Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) all deserve scrutiny for signing a letter that urged the IRS to bolster their scrutiny of certain “political” groups, as ABC News noted on Tuesday.


Former IRS commissioner Shulman’s wife works for liberal group fighting open campaign spending - DAILY CALLER

Shulman’s wife Susan L. Anderson is the senior program advisor for the Washington-based nonprofit organization Public Campaign, which claims that it “is laying the foundation for reform by working with a broad range of organizations, including local community groups, around the country that are fighting for change and national organizations whose members are not fairly represented under the current campaign finance system.”

Earlier this month, when news broke of the targeting scandal broke, Public Campaign president and CEO Nick Nyhart belittled the concerns of disenfranchised conservatives.

“There are legitimate questions to be asked about political groups that are hiding behind a 501(c)4 status,” Nyhart said in a statement provide to ABC. “It’s unfortunate a few bad apples at the IRS will make it harder for those questions to be asked without claims of bias.”

Shulman, who did not deny in congressional testimony that he visited the White House more than 100 times, met Anderson at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, which they both attended. The couple own a house in Washington, DC’s tony Embassy Row neighborhood which they bought for $1.3 million in 2003 and is now estimated by Zillow to be worth $1.8 million.

Public Campaign receives “major funding” from the pro-Obamacare alliance Health Care for America NOW!, which is comprised of the labor unions AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, and the progressive activist organization Move On, among others.

The Daily Caller notes that Public Campaign shares a floor with Common Cause and the Center for Progressive Leadership, just a couple of nonprofits that do business in the neighborhood. (Twitchy)

IRS collects docs from 88 employees in investigation - CNN
IRS may have targeted conservatives more broadly - McClatchy

Big surprise: Wife of former IRS director works for liberal group ‘laying the foundation for reform’ - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

Evidence Suggests Obama Directly Involved In IRS Scandal - lastresistance

1. The number of visits the IRS Commissioner made to the White House is extraordinarily high. With 157 or more meetings between the President and Shulman, something of importance was clearly going on between the head of the IRS and the White House. That much we know for sure.

2. The Commissioner didn’t make nearly as many visits to previous Presidents; which means that he and Obama were very close. According to Shift Frequency, from 2003 to 2007, the acting IRS Commissioner visited the Bush White House only a single time.

3. This information begs the questions: why were they so close? Why did they have so many meetings?

4. 157 visitations, our recent discovery of the IRS’ targeting of Conservative groups, and Obama’s open disdain of the Right, points to a collusion between the President and the IRS Commissioner. The pieces all fit together.

Can we conclude with this information that Obama is directly responsible for the IRS scandal? I say yes. The probability of these incidents occurring independently of one another is very low. Therefore, the only conclusion is that our President was directly involved in this breach of ethical bounds.


...according to Anderson's Twitter feed, she worked on the Obama campaign:

During a Congressional hearing, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) questioned Shulman if he knew how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had information in supporting a July 2012 claim that Romney had not paid taxes for the last ten years. Shulman appeared not to know how or why Senator Reid made such a claim.

It was a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency

DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

DC ambulance breaks down while transporting shooting victim to hospital - FOX DC

The D.C. fire department is trying to determine why one of its newer diesel ambulances broke down as crews were transporting a patient in cardiac arrest.

It happened on I-295 Wednesday afternoon as Ambulance 19 was taking a shooting victim to the hospital. Then it took several minutes for a second ambulance to arrive.

The driver of Ambulance 19 is telling investigators the indicator lights on the emission control system suddenly and unexpectedly jumped from a warning to shut down in a matter of seconds, and as the engine died, she was able to pull the rig to the side of the road.

The question now is why? And can these newer rigs be trusted to be there in an emergency?

When the D.C. fire department began buying these diesel engine ambulances a few years ago, officials knew they would have to manage them with a new emission control system that would automatically shut the engine down if it wasn't allowed to what's called "regenerate.”

It was a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency.

...A medic continued to administer CPR while the crew waited for a second ambulance but McRae was pronounced dead at Howard University Hospital.

Rand Paul: GOP can turn California red

How Republicans Can Win California” - Rand Paul/For The Flash Report

[Flash Report Publisher's Note: We are pleased to offer this original column submitted to the FlashReport by United States Senator Rand Paul. This evening at 6 p.m. Senator Paul will be giving an address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. You can watch the live webcast of his remarks ◼ here. Enjoy! - Jon Fleischman]

“...a libertarian-leaning Republican can have an appeal in California, not only for Silicon Valley folks but voters in general.” - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @joelmentum

President Obama and national Democrats hope to turn the Republican stronghold of Texas into a battleground state, but Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., suspects that Republicans have the capacity to turn California red.

“One of the reasons I come to California is that the Republican Party seems to have given up on California, and my message to those in California is that we’re going to compete nationally as a party, and that includes California,” Paul told Wired Thursday as he traveled to meet with Silicon Valley executives. “And the way we’re going to compete is by running people for office who can appreciate some issues that attract young people and independents: civil liberties, as well as a less aggressive foreign policy, not putting people in jail for marijuana, a much more tolerant type of point of view. If you have Republican candidates like that then I think all of a sudden you’d find California back in play.”

True The Vote's Catherine Englebrecht

Catherine Englebrecht and her husband were targeted by the Obama IRS scandal. They are small business owners in Texas, and were desperately trying to hang on to their oil industry support business that was already being strangled by policies of the Obama administration...when the IRS showed up. Catherine was apparently spotted by IRS auditors when she tried to expand her Tea Party effort into the more formal, "True The Vote." The harassment, financial threats, invasion of privacy, and EMOTIONAL TOLL on their family, now puts them at the center of legal action against the IRS. YOU GO CATHERINE. The entire KITCHEN CABINET ◼ The Kitchen Cabinet

What's going on between the IRS and True the Vote? - Sharyl Atkisson/CBS

True Scandal A tea-party group targeted by Democrats gets attention from the IRS—and the FBI, OSHA, and the ATF

True the Vote Files Suit Against the IRS - Ian Tuttle/National Review

“True The Vote” Files Lawsuit Against Lois Lerner Personally, Serves Her At Her House - Weasel Zippers

Paul Ryan on the IRS investigation

Despite glittering promises of openness in government by Holder and the man in the Oval Office whose interests he protects, the Obama era has displayed an unprecedented lack of transparency epitomized in the attorney general's request for the off-the-record meeting.

Examiner Editorial: Journalists should not meet in secret with Holder - Washington Examiner EDITORIAL

Former NBC evening news anchor Tom Brokaw got it exactly right when he assessed Attorney General Eric Holder's invitation to Washington media chiefs for an off-the-record meeting. Said Brokaw: "If it's worth talking about, let's put it on the record. If we need to know about it, let's put it in the sunshine." Despite glittering promises of openness in government by Holder and the man in the Oval Office whose interests he protects, the Obama era has displayed an unprecedented lack of transparency epitomized in the attorney general's request for the off-the-record meeting. Neither Obama nor Holder appear to understand that transparency is the essential preface to credibility....

It is hypocritical to pretend independence before readers while colluding behind closed doors with the very officials being covered. Besides, the principals here can have a meeting with journalists any time they want simply by convening that rarity of the Obama era, an on-the-record news conference. Then the news media -- and the American people -- can make their own judgments.

Eric Holder 'told US editors he would not repeat controversial searches' - Journalists report officials said they would change rules on investigations, at meeting boycotted by some news outlets -

James Warren, Washington bureau chief of the New York Daily News, said Holder and his staff seem bound for "an anthropological foray, to find out a little bit more than they seemed to understand about the way we all operate on a daily basis." He called the meeting "an opening gambit."

Others who attended were New Yorker contributor Jane Mayer, Politico editor-in-chief John Harris and Martin Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post....

Several news organisations, including Reuters, CNN, the New York Times and the Associated Press, rejected offers to meet Holder on the "off-the-record" terms.

"We would welcome the opportunity to hear the attorney general's explanation for the Department of Justice's handling of subpoenas to journalists, and his thoughts about improving the protections afforded to media organisations in responding to government investigations, but believe firmly that his comments should be for publication," said Reuters spokeswoman Barb Burg....

NPR executive Kinsey Wilson said a senior news executive and in-house lawyer will go instead of an editor "because we did not feel it was appropriate for our journalists to hold off-the-record discussions with the attorney general on a subject in which we have a direct interest."

Bloomberg News said it would attend. A spokesman for ABC News said it would attend but would "press for that conversation to be put on the record".

Television networks Fox News, CNN, CBS and NBC, as well as the Huffington Post, said they would not attend.

Obama seemingly has endless time to play golf, take vacations and hopscotch the United States on Air Force One to fundraise and campaign

Obama Is In Charge; This Is on Him - David Limbaugh/Townhall

...but he's too busy to know or even be bothered about an unfolding crisis in Benghazi, the deliberate alteration of talking points to mislead the press and public about the cause of the consulate attack, the selective targeting of conservative groups by an unscrupulous Internal Revenue Service (which just so happened to do his bidding in successfully suppressing Republican voter turnout), and the criminal investigation of innocent journalists....

What we are seeing from Obama (and his administration) is what we should expect from a person who has been mostly a political agitator and activist for his entire adult life, without any experience in rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty in actually solving the problems.

...what we've yet to see is Obama himself being held accountable for his fraudulent promises, his policy failures and this staggering corruption.

Like it or not, these things are his doing. He is in charge; he is the one who made the false promises; he established the policy goals that are to be achieved at almost any cost; and he has created the climate leading to this lawlessness. In the modern vernacular, this is on him.

Poll: Less Than Half Of Americans Now View Obama As “Honest And Trustworthy”… - Weasel Zippers

The latest Quinnipiac University poll, published today, will send shivers through the White House, even though Washington is experiencing its first heat wave of the year. The Quinnipiac survey (hat tip: Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot) is the first major survey to show that the wave of recent scandals hitting the Obama administration are beginning to damage President Obama’s own standing with the American people. According to Quinnipiac, Barack Obama’s job approval rating now stands at just 45 percent, with less than half of voters viewing the president as “honest and trustworthy.”

“President Barack Obama gets a negative 45 – 49 percent job approval rating, compared to 48 – 45 percent positive in a May 1 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, conducted before the IRS allegations surfaced.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ted Cruz: Obama administration does not respect First, Second, Fourth or Fifth Amendments

“Unfortunately, I think it’s part and parcel of a pattern from this administration of not respecting the Bill of Rights,” Cruz added. “Not respecting the First Amendment, not respecting the Second Amendment, not respecting our Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights regarding drone strikes, regarding the IRS.” - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering

Cruz added that it was a disturbing pattern of behavior from the White House.

In other words, criticizing Islamofascism -- the political strain of Islam -- could very well be criminalized by the Obama-Holder administration.

DOJ: Social Media Posts Trashing Muslims May Violate Civil Rights - Judicial Watch

IT'S COME TO THIS: Holder Justice Department Says It Will Help Enforce Islamic Sharia Law - Doug Ross

DOJ: Social Media Posts Trashing Muslims May Violate Civil Rights

In its latest effort to protect followers of Islam in the U.S. the Obama Justice Department warns against using social media to spread information considered inflammatory against Muslims, threatening that it could constitute a violation of civil rights.

The move comes a few years after the administration became the first in history to dispatch a U.S. Attorney General to personally reassure Muslims that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is dedicated to protecting them. In the unprecedented event, Attorney General Eric Holder assured a San Francisco-based organization (Muslim Advocates) that urges members not to cooperate in federal terrorism investigations that the “us versus them” environment created by the U.S. government, law enforcement agents and fellow citizens is unacceptable and inconsistent with what America is all about....

In other words, criticizing Islamofascism -- the political strain of Islam -- could very well be criminalized by the Obama-Holder administration. The Islamist term for this crime is "Blasphemy", which may include one or more of the following crimes:
- speaking ill of Allah
- finding fault with Muhammad
- speculating about how Muhammad would behave if he were alive
- drawing a picture to represent Muhammad
- whistling during prayers
- flouting the rules prescribed for Ramadan
- reciting Muslim prayers in a language other than Arabic
- consuming alcohol
- gambling
- being alone with persons of the opposite sex who are not blood relatives
- finding amusement in Islamic customs
- publishing an unofficial translation of the Qur'an
- practicing yoga
- watching a film or listening to music
- wearing make-up on television
- insulting religious scholarship
- wearing the clothing of Jews or of Zoroastrians
- participating in non-Islamic religious festivals
- converting from Islam to Christianity
This crime is, in many cases, punishable by death. In other words, you are no longer living in America.

Obama's Dorothy Doctrine. Commander-in-chief clicks his heels and wishes - commands! - the jihadist war on us to end.

Obama’s Dorothy Doctrine - Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post

...This is John Lennon, bumper-sticker foreign policy — Imagine World Peace. Obama pretends that the tide of war is receding. But it’s demonstrably not. It’s metastasizing to Mali, to the Algerian desert, to the North African states falling under the Muslim Brotherhood, to Yemen, to the savage civil war in Syria, now spilling over into Lebanon and destabilizing Jordan. Even Sinai, tranquil for 35 years, is descending into chaos.

It’s not war that’s receding. It’s America. Under Obama. And it is precisely in the power vacuum left behind that war is rising. Obama declares Assad must go. The same wish-as-policy fecklessness from our bystander president. Two years — and 70,000 dead — later, Obama keeps repeating the wish even as the tide of battle is altered by the new arbiters of Syria’s future — Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. Where does every party to the Syrian conflict go on bended knee? To Moscow, as Washington recedes into irrelevance....

We were defenseless on 9/11 because, despite Osama bin Laden’s open written declaration of war in 1996, we pretended for years that no war against us had even begun. Obama would return us to pre-9/11 defenselessness — casting Islamist terror as a law-enforcement issue and removing the legal basis for treating it as armed conflict — by pretending that the war is over.

It’s enough to make you weep.

Babies on board! Czech mother, 23, is pregnant with the country's first naturally conceived QUINTUPLETS

According to local media, her children will be the country's first set of quins. - Daily Mail

The odds of conceiving quins naturally is one is several million, according to experts.
The mother said both she and her partner have a family history of twins.

President Barack Obama is the biggest threat to press freedom, one of the hallmarks of a true democracy, the United States has seen since former President Nixon, according to attorney James Goodale, widely seen as “the father of reporters' privileges.”

OH, MY: Former New York Times General Counsel and Vice Chairman Eviscerates Obama Administration and Holder DOJ - Doug Ross

In a nutshell, the The New York Times' legendary legal expert and "the father of reporters' privilege" just crushed the ongoing Obama-Holder free speech debacle.

Russia Today interviews James Goodale - Ace Of Spades

Obama 'worse than Nixon' for press freedoms - Russia Today (RT)
RT: You’ve been called the father of reporters’ privileges. What do you see as the current threats to press freedom in the United States?

JG: It, frankly, is President Obama and Rosengate because this is the first time the – I hate to use the term ‘Espionage Act,’ we’ll say national security act for your viewers – has been used to get reporters. I mean, that really is frightening because it’s usually used to get leakers. Rosen is a leakee, to use legal phraseology. If the Obama administration, or at least his Justice Department, thinks they can use criminal laws to get journalists because they’re co-conspirators, honestly that is one of the worst things I’ve come across in all the years I’ve been doing this.
Only Nixon Harmed a Free Press More - New York Times
The search warrant filed to investigate the Fox News reporter James Rosen proved as many had suspected: President Obama wants to make it a crime for a reporter to talk to a leaker. It is a further example of how President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom.

The government's subpoena of The Associated Press's phone records was bad enough. But the disclosure of the search warrant in the Rosen case shows President Obama has delved into territory never before reached by previous presidents.

If ever there will be a blatant, inescapable demonstration of what really drives federal aid policy, it will be the event we are likely to witness tomorrow.

Let’s hope the public will get the right message: Politicians aren’t primarily driven by a desire to make college affordable. They’re driven by a desire for political gain. And that’s why we need them to get out of the student aid business. - CATO INSTITUTE

Tomorrow, the President will host what sounds like will be a textbook, campaign-style event featuring lots of no doubt somber – but oh-so-grateful-to-the-President – looking college students. With the photo-op thus set up, Mr. Obama will demand that Congress do something to stop the impending doubling of interest rates on subsidized federal loans from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

But the GOP-led House has done something, and it is largely along the lines of what the President has called for. Last week, the House passed legislation that would peg student loan interest rates to 10-year Treasury bills, and would even cap rates at 8.5 percent or 10.5 percent, depending on the type of loan. It’s not exactly what the President wants – rates will vary over the life of the loan rather than being set at the origination rate, and the add-on to T-bill rates is higher – but the plans are still pretty close.

At this point, you’d think the President would be negotiating, not grandstanding. But then you wouldn’t understand federal student aid (or, really, almost anything government does). It is first and foremost about politicians – who are normal, self-interested people – getting what they need: political support, not sane college prices. And you get a lot of that support by appearing to want to “help people” more than the other guys.

The dirty little secret: Women on Marijuana Farms at Risk of Domestic Violence

Women on Marijuana Farms at Risk of Domestic Violence - Kym Kemp/Lost Coast Outpost ◼ Crossposted at Redheaded Blackbelt

According to an article in Healthy Cal, an online magazine about California, some women in the pot industry are dealing with dangerous and violent conditions. While the article’s title—Young Women in Pot Industry Face Exploitation—conjures up images of a nationwide sexploitation of young women, the piece focuses on domestic violence among marijuana growers in Humboldt County, particularly in the southern half.

Young women in pot industry face exploitation - Suzanne Hurt/California Health Report

Garberville, population 913, is a former logging town set in a lush valley on the south fork of the Eel River. About 200 miles north of San Francisco just off Highway 101, the tiny enclave is surrounded by steep hills and thick redwood forests home to a thriving arts community, a sustainable living movement and a large number of home-based businesses. While some make candles and weave wall hangings from locally spun yarn, others make a living growing pot in a region the BBC dubbed the marijuana heartland of the United States.

The cannabis industry is pumping a lot of cash into the community. Unfortunately, life is far from idyllic on some pot farms, and victims of violence are also being churned out into the community.

Helping women in these situations involves unique challenges. Many farms are in remote wooded areas reachable only by dirt roads. Communication is limited. The women are isolated and often living in substandard conditions in shacks, buses and vans without power or telephones.

In nearly half of the cases, the violence is perpetrated by a husband or boyfriend. In one case, a 33-year-old woman and her husband were growing pot and raising three children on a marijuana farm miles from Garberville. Her husband had a drinking problem, and was getting more violent. One day, he became extremely violent and threw the car keys into the woods. “Michelle” fled on foot with only a cell phone, climbed into a tree to hide and called Balletta.

“Still to this day, the scariest call I got,” said Balletta, who drove out with the sheriff in tow and searched the area until the woman stepped out of the woods and onto a paved road as night fell....

Men managing the farms can be paranoid over the threat of raids or people stealing the plants. Women’s cell phones may be taken away and they may not be allowed to leave until season’s end. Some are forced off farms at gunpoint without being paid. Women may be beaten or psychologically controlled. Sometimes, what started as a casual hookup or dating scenario turns into demands for sex and even assault, Watkins said.
“It may have been fun at first. But it becomes clear they really don’t have a choice,” she said....

Lois Lerner To Republican Candidate in 1996: “Promise me You Will Never Run Again, and We’ll Drop the (FEC) Case”

Wow, this Lois Lerner is a piece of work, isn’t she? - Nice Deb

We’d already heard about some of her antics while she was head of the Enforcement Division of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), under Clinton.

Now, via Illinois Review we find out how in 1996, Lerner went after Republican State Rep. Al Salvi who was running for US Senate in Illinois.
According to Salvi, Lerner was without question, politically motivated, and went so far as to make him an offer: ”Promise me you will never run for office again, and we’ll drop this case.”
Salvi, who had nothing to hide, declined her offer and the case against him was eventually dismissed.

Breaking: Lois Lerner Sued Christian Coalition In Largest FEC Action in History – Then Was Promoted to IRS Where She Targeted Conservatives (Video) - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit

IRS's Lerner Had History of Harassment, Inappropriate Religious Inquiries at FEC - Mark Hemingway/Weekly Standard

What "off the record" means and why it matters to you.

Holder runs into roadblocks on off-the-record meetings on leaks - CNN ◼ Via Drudge

Attorney General Eric Holder's plans to sit down with media representatives to discuss guidelines for handling investigations into leaks to the news media have run into trouble.

The Associated Press issued a statement Wednesday objecting to plans for the meetings to be off the record. "If it is not on the record, AP will not attend and instead will offer our views on how the regulations should be updated in an open letter," said Erin Madigan White, the AP's media relations manager.

The New York Times is taking the same position. "It isn't appropriate for us to attend an off-the-record meeting with the attorney general," executive editor Jill Abramson said in a statement.

Like the New York Times and the Associated Press, CNN will decline the invitation for an off-the-record meeting. A CNN spokesperson says if the meeting with the attorney general is on the record, CNN would plan to participate.

The Huffington Post's Washington bureau chief, Ryan Grim, also said he will not attend unless the meeting is on the record. "A conversation specifically about the freedom of the press should be an open one. We have a responsibility not to betray that," Grim told CNN.

But Politico posted an item on its website saying editor-in-chief John Harris plans to attend one of the meetings with Holder.

The New York Times and AP right to refuse Holder spin invite - Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post


REPORTERS NOW PRIESTS...7 Reasons Why the Media Shouldn't Keep Eric Holder's Secrets - Ron Fournier/National Journal

Off the record generally means the information cannot be shared with the public. "Off the record" is (or should be) rarely used in Washington because it puts a reporter in the position of a priest: Keeping the government's secrets.

By tradition, conversations in Washington are on the record unless the journalist and the official mutually agree to other terms.

Unfortunately, many reporters confuse or abuse these terms. First, news stories (including some of my own) are littered with "blind quotes" from officials granted anonymity to settle scores, disseminate talking points, or opine.

Second, unethical reporters play games with ground rules. Howard Dean, a former governor, presidential candidate, and Democratic Party chairman, complained on MSNBC's Morning Joe that journalists habitually conduct conversations "off the record" and later attribute the information to an anonymous source, a violation of the source-reporter agreement.

Political figures also confuse and abuse the terms. When journalists cede their authority to negotiate the terms of a conversation or briefing (which happens far too often in Washington, a subject for a separate post), government and political operatives spin, distort, demagogue, and even lie "on background" and "off the record"--knowing their names won't be attached and thus they won't be held accountable

Hopefully, this is enough background to explain the many reasons why bureau chiefs should meet with Holder only "on the record"--with every detail made public and attributed to the attorney general and his guests.

1. This is important stuff. The debate over balancing liberty and security needs to involve the public, and not be limited to a handful of government officials and the media elite.

2. The media's fundamental job is to shine a light in the darkest corners of government. If we stand for anything, it's transparency and accountability. Meeting secretly with Holder borders on hypocrisy....

7. Obama's team still doesn't get it. One wonders why the media would trust Holder's motive given how the administration has conducted itself so far. The most recent case in point: When The New York Times and AP announced that they would not meet with Holder "off the record," Democratic Party spokesman Brad Woodhouse tweeted that the decision "kind of forfeits your right to gripe." Well, no--it doesn't. Woodhouse was treating the media like a political opponent: Attack, distort, and deflect. He probably didn't realize the Orwellian implications of his wisecrack. Even the liberal ACLU took issue with it. (Read the rest, at the link)

MSM TURNS... - Tim Stanley/Telegraph

Those of us who inhabit the Right are left with some small satisfaction that we saw all this coming and were crying “crook” long before the mainstream media did. But the tragedy is that the undressing of the emperor didn’t occur before the election, which means we are stuck with him for another four years. Perhaps that's a tragedy for Obama, too. So consumed by fury and conspiracy has his administration become that he seems sadly isolated. If Obama's going to go the full Nixon route, it would probably be quicker for him to write a friends list than an enemies one.

Holder Given June 5 Deadline to Explain Involvement in Reporter Search Warrant -

Obama's Chicago Way: Scandals Are From Daley Playbook...

The scandals swirling around the Obama administration have many journalists scratching their heads as to how “hope and change” seem to have been supplanted by “arrogance and fear.” Perhaps it’s time they revisit one of their original premises about Barack Obama: that he wasn’t influenced by the Chicago Daley machine. - John Fund/National Review

Conservatives in Chicago, an embattled breed, say the Obama scandals now coming to light — the IRS, the intimidation of journalists, the green-energy boondoggles such as Solyndra — could have been anticipated. “The 2008 Obama campaign perpetrated a fraud that he was a reformer,” says Chris Robling, a former journalist who has served as a Republican election commissioner. “All of the complaints — from the lack of transparency to HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s shaking down corporations to promote Obamacare — stem from the culture of the Daley Machine.” For decades, Robling says, Mayor Daley “encouraged” contributions to his favorite charities, with the implicit understanding that the “encourager” controlled the city’s inspectors and regulators. “That sounds an awful lot like what Sebelius was doing to prop up Obamacare,” Robling notes. “Obama’s ideology may come from Saul Alinsky’s acolytes, but his political tactics come straight from the Daley playbook.” Indeed, friends of Bill Daley, Mayor Daley’s brother, say that one reason Bill left his post as Obama’s White House chief of staff after only one year was that even he thought Team Obama was too much “all politics, all of the time” and not enough about governance.

Journalists used to know that presidents are in part a product of their past: where their careers were nurtured and where their politics were shaped. They understood this as a given when it came to Ronald Reagan and California; they basically grasped it about Bill Clinton’s Arkansas, and certainly nailed it on George W. Bush and Texas. But when it came to Barack Obama, all that went out the window. Speaking at the University of Southern California, at a post-2008 conference on the election, Mark Halperin, then of ABC News, said that the media’s treatment of Obama had been “the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war.” It was “extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage,” he concluded.

That media failure continued throughout Obama’s first term. Perhaps now, as Obama’s “Chicago Way” is coming into focus, the media will want to redeem itself. With Obama, it’s become all too clear: You can take the politician away from the machine, but you can’t take the machine out of the politician.

SAVE THE DATE: John Fund will be Keynote Speaker at Humboldt GOP's fundraiser, June 20th at Blue Lake Casino's Sapphire Room. Tickets are $45/person Call Humboldt GOP HQ for details: 442-2259.

What media liberals fear most isn't the right, it's being exposed as the left.

Death of a Naked Liberal - Sultan Knish

...Newsweek's desperate covers last year amounted to a formerly respected magazine descending into outright trolling. It was no longer possible to tell the difference between Newsweek covers and Newsweek parody covers.

...The dirty little secret of liberal media is that it doesn't work. Outlets that identify explicitly as liberal usually play to a very marginal audience. Mother Jones begs money from its readers in the same obnoxious way as PBS. NPR relies on donors. The New Republic is flailing. Liberal mags that succeed do it by focusing on a topic that overlaps with a liberal target audience and embeds their articles there.

It works for magazines like Rolling Stone and the New Yorker. Online sites like Huffington Post and Buzzfeed succeed by filling themselves with so much trash that the politics becomes a sideline. The liberal brand is fine when it's stuffed into culture, elitist or trashy. It doesn't however stand on its own two feet. It can't, because it has no real appeal.

Liberalism remains marginal. Gallup polls invariably show forty percent of Americans describing themselves as conservative and twenty percent or less identifying as liberal. Liberals dumped the liberal brand after conservatives effectively destroyed it back in the Reagan era. They emphasize policies and rhetoric over political identification because a liberal political identity is toxic.

The cultural dominance of the left did not come about because a majority of Americans knowingly identify with it, but because the left has succeeded in breaking up its agendas into tinier and tinier pieces and making them part of the national dialogue using seemingly agnostic media channels. These stealth tactics have been successful because they eschewed open identification. Liberal media doesn't work when it's transparently liberal. That's why even liberals mock NPR's news coverage.

Liberal media influence works when it isn't identified as such. And when it is identified as such then eighty percent of the country switches the channel and cancels its subscription....

What media liberals fear most isn't the right, it's being exposed as the left. It's not so much what FOX News says, as its very existence that is threatening, because once viewers become aware that FOX represents the right, then, even if they don't agree with it, they have to come around to the conclusion that there is another side and that the media embodies that other side.

Liberalism is marginal, as is MSNBC's audience. Media outlets like Newsweek and MSNBC that go full liberal die. And that lesson has terrible implications for liberal power as a whole.

What is holding California Republicans back?

We are now heading into the fourth consecutive “change” election in 2014. In California, Republicans are hoping for more success than we experienced in 2010. - Ron Nehring

...It’s time for every Republican elected official to step up, recognize that they help to define the GOP brand, and start defining themselves and the Republican Party not in terms of what we are against, but rather what we are for.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Well, just when you’ve recovered from the 2012 election, it’s about time to start studying for 2014.

Looking to 2014: California Assembly District 73 - Bridget Willard/Commonsense Conscience

...(In Southern California) Assembly District 73 looks pretty full already according to the post I read from “Around The Capitol.”

Of the five listed there, four are city council members. This is a good reminder that we should pay attention to local politics. Every vote counts in local elections and these people always seem to move up the food chain.

White House officials continue to insist that President Obama knew nothing about the IRS scandal until we all heard about it in the news last week. They said because there was an investigation under way, it would have been inappropriate to tell him.

And besides, Obama was too busy not knowing anything about Benghazi. - Jay Leno via Townhall

Trash Talk #cruztovictory

This is a must watch video reminding you why and to what extend the media, Democrats, and John McCain are after the junior senator from Texas. ◼ via Redstate

What the ARGUS Drone Camera's 6" Resolution Can See From 17,000 ft...

All it takes is one lone unit circling an area half the size of Manhattan (at cca 15-20,000 ft.) to provide comprehensive video surveillance of every single inch... - Doug Ross

Straight shooter: D.C. man who shot pit bull mauling boy refuses legal aid; asks donors to help kid

A D.C. man who faced criminal charges for using an unregistered gun to kill a pit bull as it mauled a neighborhood boy is now raising funds for the 11-year-old victim to help him cope in the aftermath of the vicious attack. - Andrea Noble/Washington Times

The effort comes amid an outpouring of support from gun-rights activists offering to raise money for Benjamin Srigley, 39, who was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine as part of an agreement he would not be charged with a crime....

“I am truly touched and very grateful for all the public support that I have received.” Mr. Srigley wrote on the campaign website. “If you can only afford to make one donation, I would prefer that you give the money to Jayeon.”

...Though Jayeon’s wounds from the attack have healed, leaving deep scars on his elbow, torso and leg, his family said he hasn’t been the same since then.

“He’s coming around, but he’s still not himself,” said Chris Speight, 45, a cousin who helps care for Jayeon.

The boy who Mr. Speight said was once eager to play with his siblings or other children in the neighborhood, sat on his front stoop passively watching the others on a recent afternoon. Quietly responding to a reporter’s questions about the incident with timid “yes” and “no” answers, Jayeon said he no longer rides his bike in the neighborhood. It’s not because of the dogs, he insists. Rather his bicycle chain is broken, he said.

Blogger KT has a regular feature he calls WORLD OF GOOD, highlighting some of the amazing good deeds that so often go unrecognized. We're happy to contribute to the effort.

Goolsbee's Mysterious Tweet About the Koch Brothers' Taxes

What Did Austan Goolsbee Know, and How Did He Know It? - Robert Stacy McCain/Viral Read

President Obama‘s burgeoning IRS scandal has developed many strange twists — there were new revelations today about the tax agency’s harassment of targets on the White House’s enemies list — but perhaps no twist is stranger than the shadow of suspicion cast on former presidential economic advisor Austan Goolsbee.

In August 2010, when the Tea Party movement was on the verge of wiping out Nancy Pelosi‘s Democrat congressional majority, Goolsbee told reporters that Koch Industries paid no corporate income tax. Libertarian philanthropists Charles Koch and David Koch were being attacked by the White House at that time for their funding of non-profit groups that supported the Tea Party, such as Americans for Prosperity.

Once it became know that Internal Revenue Service officials had engaged in “inappropriate” targeting of applications by Tea Party groups for federal non-profit status, Goolsbee’s claim of knowledge about the Kochs’ private business got renewed scrutiny. Two weeks ago, Goolsbee sent out a Twitter explanation, asserting that his information came from a newspaper article. But after Goolsbee’s Tweet was quoted in a article by David Weigel — poof! –the Tweet got deleted.

What is Goolsbee trying to hide? Was the Obama administration illegally using the IRS to secretly pry into its enemies’ private finances? John McCormack of the Weekly Standard intends to get some answers...

Why did a former White House official delete a statement about Koch Industries taxes? - John McCormack/Weekly Standard

In August 2010, Austan Goolsbee, serving at the time as economic adviser to President Obama, told reporters during an anonymous background briefing that Koch Industries doesn't pay corporate income taxes. That statement was made at the same time that top Democrats, including President Obama himself, were demonizing Charles and David Koch, the owners of Koch Industries, for giving money to Tea Party groups. Goolsbee's remark led to a federal investigation, the results of which have never been released.

The Obama admin acted as “judge, jury and executioner” in seizing AP’s phone records

AP CEO: Justice Department Seized ‘Thousands And Thousands’ Of Phone Call Records - Noah Rothman/Mediaite

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FEAR FREE SPEECH - David Harsanyi/Human Events @davidharsanyi

DHS accosts Project Veritas after exposing CA Assemblyman ‘homeless bill of rights’ hypocrisy

Project Veritas went after 2 California assemblymen to see if the legislation they were pushing that allowed homeless people to sleep pretty much wherever they please, so long as it is public property, was something they really believed in. - The Right Scoop

Turns out, to no one’s surprise, that these assemblymen don’t believe in the axiom ‘what is good for the goose is good for the gander.’

Media should not be meeting behind closed doors with DOJ/Eric Holder

Brad Woodhouse: Journalists forfeit ‘right to gripe’ if they refuse off-the-record meeting with Holder - Twitchy

The most transparent administration ever didn’t do itself any favors at the peak of the Benghazi scandal by hand-selecting a number of journalists for a “deep background” meeting with Press Secretary Jay Carney. Now, with Attorney General Eric Holder allegedly investigating himself for seizing the phone records of AP reporters and the private emails of Fox News’ James Rosen, some Washington, D.C., news bureau chiefs are being summoned to an off-the-record briefing.

The New York Times has reportedly sent its regrets, not wishing to further encourage the administration’s behind-closed-doors brand of transparency.

Why would any news organizations meet with Attorney General Eric Holder? that is a photo op at a time when the media should keep a comfortable distance and just report the facts! the media and the DOJ should not have closed door meetings! - Greta Van Susteren/Gretawire

Who will hold Eric Holder accountable? - Erik Wemple/Washington Post


TV Ratings: MSNBC Falls Below HLN in May, Rachel Maddow Hits Lows

Fox News Channel maintains a handsome lead in primetime and total day, while primetime runner-up CNN continues a healthy climb from the lows of 2012. - Michael O'Connell/The Hollywood Reporter

◼ EARLIER: Busty squad of fake Rachel Maddow fans promotes her show with identical spam tweets; Update: Accounts suspended

A search yields hundreds of identical tweets like this: - Twitchy

Confession: I yell at my TV while watching Rachel #Maddow talk about filibuster reform in the same way most people do during football.—
Kassie Scattergood (@its_kassie5838) March 02, 2013

Confession: I yell at my TV while watching Rachel #Maddow talk about filibuster reform in the same way most people do during football.—
Tran Manhardt (@therealtranmanh) March 01, 2013

The tweets from cleavage-flaunting Maddow “fans” date back to at least Feb. 23. Using the DoesFollow service, Twitchy checked dozens of the accounts to determine whether any actually follow Rachel Maddow on Twitter. The answer? NO.

Month of Breaking News Lifts CNN and Fox, but Sinks MSNBC - NYT

Death of a Naked Liberal - Sultan Knish

...Newsweek's desperate covers last year amounted to a formerly respected magazine descending into outright trolling. It was no longer possible to tell the difference between Newsweek covers and Newsweek parody covers.

...The dirty little secret of liberal media is that it doesn't work. Outlets that identify explicitly as liberal usually play to a very marginal audience. Mother Jones begs money from its readers in the same obnoxious way as PBS. NPR relies on donors. The New Republic is flailing. Liberal mags that succeed do it by focusing on a topic that overlaps with a liberal target audience and embeds their articles there.

It works for magazines like Rolling Stone and the New Yorker. Online sites like Huffington Post and Buzzfeed succeed by filling themselves with so much trash that the politics becomes a sideline. The liberal brand is fine when it's stuffed into culture, elitist or trashy. It doesn't however stand on its own two feet. It can't, because it has no real appeal.

Liberalism remains marginal. Gallup polls invariably show forty percent of Americans describing themselves as conservative and twenty percent or less identifying as liberal. Liberals dumped the liberal brand after conservatives effectively destroyed it back in the Reagan era. They emphasize policies and rhetoric over political identification because a liberal political identity is toxic.

The cultural dominance of the left did not come about because a majority of Americans knowingly identify with it, but because the left has succeeded in breaking up its agendas into tinier and tinier pieces and making them part of the national dialogue using seemingly agnostic media channels. These stealth tactics have been successful because they eschewed open identification. Liberal media doesn't work when it's transparently liberal. That's why even liberals mock NPR's news coverage.

Liberal media influence works when it isn't identified as such. And when it is identified as such then eighty percent of the country switches the channel and cancels its subscription....

What media liberals fear most isn't the right, it's being exposed as the left. It's not so much what FOX News says, as its very existence that is threatening, because once viewers become aware that FOX represents the right, then, even if they don't agree with it, they have to come around to the conclusion that there is another side and that the media embodies that other side.

Liberalism is marginal, as is MSNBC's audience. Media outlets like Newsweek and MSNBC that go full liberal die. And that lesson has terrible implications for liberal power as a whole.

Today, President Obama personally became re-involved in his former campaign organization's new incarnation Organizing for Action.

Obama Signs Fundraising Email for 'Non-Partisan' Organizing for Action - JERYL BIER/Weekly Standard MAY 29, 2013

On the same day he is scheduled to appear at two DCCC fundraisers in Chicago, the president of the United States sent the following email to OFA's mailing list, signed "Barack":

Friend --
This is an experiment.
Organizing for Action isn't like any other organization. It's based in Chicago, not Washington, and its task is to help restore the balance of power in government.
We've seen that a bottom-up movement of passionate people can still win an election in the era of big campaign spending. That's not what this is about.
Organizing for Action is about discovering whether ordinary people can reclaim the process of legislating from special-interest groups and lobbyists, and help give your friends and neighbors the voice they deserve in Washington.
This project needs your support -- I'm counting on you to be there for the fights ahead.
Say you're in today:
Let's finish what we started.

The link takes recipients to an email sign up page, after which visitors are invited to donate up to $1,000 to Organizing for Action. OFA, a 504(c)(4) non-profit, has cast itself as a non-partisan advocacy group.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will not be seeking re-election in 2014

Rep. Michele Bachmann Will Not Run for Re-Election - Elizabeth Sheld/Breitbart

The announcement that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will not run for re-election in 2014 means that the Tea Party will lose one of its most outspoken--and controversial--congressional leaders, just as the movement is gaining new momentum from public discontent with big government and the revelations in the IRS scandal. At the same time, the Tea Party will benefit from the emergence of new, and perhaps more effective, voices.

In the early days of the Tea Party movement, Bachmann's charisma was a powerful motivating force. The archetypal citizen-candidate, Bachmann was one of the few elected representatives to whom Tea Party activists showed any deference. At the historic rally against Obamacare in March 2010 on Capitol Hill, the crowd of tens of thousands of Tea Party protestors literally parted to allow Bachmann to make her way to the stage.

The left demonized Bachmann, as it had done with Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK). And Bachmann often courted the controversy. For a brief time, she defended skepticism about President Barack Obama's birthplace. In the Republican presidential primary of 2011-2, she often played the role of spoiler, attacking Texas Gov. Rick Perry over his state's HPV vaccination program for teenage girls, then targeting other frontrunners in turn.

Those attacks disappointed some conservative supporters, and Bachmann soon faded from the race, after winning the Iowa straw poll and turning in solid early debate performances. But Democrats could not dislodge Bachmann from her congressional seat, even after redistricting made it harder for her to win, even after her conservative social views were ridiculed, and even after outside money flooded into her opponents' coffers.

The most consequential defeat of Bachmann's political career did not come at the ballot box or on the campaign trail, but in the back rooms of Congress, when she was denied a position in the new House leadership after the Tea Party led the GOP back to power in the 2010 elections. Her exclusion slowed the Tea Party's momentum, as did targeting by the IRS--an agency for which, ironically, Bachmann had once worked.

And yet Bachmann arguably paved the way for other Tea Party leaders in Congress, notably Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who followed in Bachmann's footsteps this year by giving a separate Tea Party response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. She also--as some on the left grudgingly admit--has been one of the most competent members of Congress, serving with distinction on the House Intelligence Committee.

Michele Bachmann’s Service - Kathryn Jean Lopez/National Review

Hey, Want to Buy Newsweek?

Guess what comes out every week and no one wants? The answer is Newsweek, a magazine that exists mainly for photoshopped cover trolling. It’s been sold for a buck and like a bad apple, it’s coming around again. - Daniel Greenfield/Front Page Magazine

For Newsweek, the beginning of the end came when its bias collided with the internet during the Clinton Administration. Newsweek had the Monica Lewinsky story first but chose not to run it. Instead the Drudge Report did. And the rest is history. And by the rest, I mean Newsweek.

Just a Buck, Try Your Luck - Ed Driscoll/PJMedia

◼ And, Progressive Newspaper Village Voice Circling the Drain - Warner Todd Huston/Breitbart

The Fall Of The Church Of Big Government: Obama's Scandalous Legacy

Obama's Scandalous Legacy - Pete Du Pont/Wall St. Journal

He has given Americans new reason to distrust the government.

We are seeing all around us the signs of a collapse. Not just economic collapse, social collapse or imperial collapse. - Strata-sphere

What we are seeing is the collapse of the myth surrounding the all powerful, all knowing, all pure, Big-Government!

The Religion of Liberalism & the New Heretics - James Hitchcock/Crisis Magazine

...religious animosity is at a higher level now than it has been for decades. While conservative believers are often aggressive in their criticisms of the liberal society, they are seen—rightly or wrongly—as being a minority, and they have little influence over the mass media, most of the educational system, or the agencies of government.
 For the most part, conservative believers have learned to accept a pluralist society, and their battles—such as over the Obama health plan or public-school textbooks—are merely on behalf of their rights as citizens. But as did most Catholics and Protestants in earlier times, the religion of liberalism considers itself the one true faith that has the obligation (and the power) to impose its beliefs.

When conservative believers demand their rights as citizens, they fail to realize that, as far as the religion of liberalism is concerned, “error has no rights.” The religion of liberalism holds that the media and the educational system should enshrine liberal beliefs and discredit conservative ones, that government should enforce liberal programs by law, and that it is an open question how far heretics should even enjoy freedom of expression.


Krauthammer: Obama Was Plotting Benghazi Cover Story Before Last Two Americans Were Dead (Video) - Gateway Pundit

In response to The Obama/Clinton 10:00 Phone Call: - Debra Heine/Breitbart's 'The Conversation'

On the O'Reilly Factor, tonight, Charles Krauthammer brought up the 10:00 pm phone call between Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, whose activities on the night of the 9/11 attack in Benghazi have yet to be scrutinized. What did he do for those eight hours? Krauthammer posited that the answer to this question could be the biggest scandal of all.

Krauthammer’s thoughts come as the Obama administration is in the throes of several other scandals, including the IRS targeting conservative groups and two cases of the Department of Justice conducting investigations into leaks that involved obtaining Associated Press reporters’ phone records and the emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen. - Liz Klimas/The Blaze
I think there is a bigger story here that will in time come out. The biggest scandal of all, the biggest question is what was the president doing in those eight hours. He had a routine meeting at five o’clock. He never after during the eight hours when our guys have their lives in danger, he never called the Secretary of Defense, he never calls the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he never called the CIA Director, Who does he call? But five hours in he calls the Secretary of State. And after the phone call she releases a statement essentially about the video and how we denounce any intolerance. It looks as if the only phone call is to construct a cover story at a time when the last two Americans who died were still alive and fighting for their lives. There’s the scandal and that has to be uncovered.”
As you may remember, Clinton said in a statement following the 10:00 pm phone call; "some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation."

We now know that the talking points were manipulated to conceal the truth about what happened and pin the blame for the attack on a spontaneous demonstration against the "inflammatory" Youtube video. The Regime would continue the ruse until it was no longer tenable.

That 10:00 phone call may well be genesis of the YouTube video narrative.

One wonders if Obama consulted his longtime consigliere, Valerie Jarrett at some point between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm.... Her role as Obama's most trusted advisor has permitted her to involve herself in even the most sensitive foreign affairs.

...And why did they think they could get away with it? Because as Andrew McCarthy noted at NRO, they had always gotten away with lying in the past. There was no reason for them to think they wouldn't get away with it, again.

The Inconvenient Truth About Benghazi - Peggy Noonan/Wall St. Journal

59% Prefer Less Health Insurance, Bigger Paycheck

link - Rasmussen

While employers wrestle with ways to meet the requirements of President Obama’s health care law, most Americans want the option of less health insurance coverage and more take home pay.

If they had a choice, 59% of Likely U.S. Voters would choose a less expensive health insurance plan that covered only major medical expenses and a bigger paycheck. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 31% would opt instead for a more expensive insurance policy that covered just about everything and receive a smaller paycheck.


Record 10,978,040 Now on Disability; ‘Disability’ Would Be 8th Most Populous State - CNS

The 10,978,040 disability beneficiaries in the United States now exceed the population of all but seven states. For example, there are more Americans collecting disability today than there are people living in Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey or Virginia....

In December 1968, 1,295,428 American workers collected disability and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 65,630,000 worked full-time. Thus, there were about 51 full-time workers for each worker collecting disability. In May 2013, with a record 8,877,921 American workers collecting disability and 116,053,000 working full-time, there were only 13 Americans working full-time for each worker on disability.

72,600,000: Record Number on Medicaid in 2012; Outnumbers Populations of France and UK - CNS

IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

“The only way to get this resolved is to go to federal court,” Sekulow said, “because that's the only thing that's going to compel the IRS to comply with the law.” - NBC

Cincinnati IRS Agent: Special ‘task force’ in DC made decisions about processing Tea Party applications - The Right Scoop

Demand Answers.

Flashback: Mitch McConnell was mocked for warning about IRS targeting - Matt K. Lewis/Daily Caller

IRS Abuse Included Lois Lerner, Other Higher-Ups - Bryan Preston/PJMedia

This story actually could have two headlines. One is the one I used, in which the IRS abuse went much higher up in the chain than the agency or administration has admitted. The other is the source: NBC reported this.

I’m as surprised as you are. Reporter Lisa Myers must have snuck one past the goalies over there.

What's going on between the IRS and True the Vote? - Sharyl Atkisson/CBS

Her attorney says an IRS official in Ohio advised her that True the Vote's application had been "forwarded to the Washington, D.C. office for additional review" and was "waiting for a response."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

People always say this to me: “Hey, Letterman,” they say. “Why don’t you make jokes about Obama?” All right, I’ll tell you why.

I don’t make jokes about him. Because I don’t want the FBI tapping my phone, that’s why. (David Letterman) via Townhall

Britt Hume on Eric Holder and his job performance

Fire Eric Holder: Column - Jonathan Turley/USATODAY

Holder's refusal to accept responsibility for the AP investigation was something of a change for the political insider. His value to President Obama has been his absolute loyalty. Holder is what we call a "sin eater" inside the Beltway — high-ranking associates who shield presidents from responsibility for their actions....

For Obama, there has been no better sin eater than Holder. When the president promised CIA employees early in his first term that they would not be investigated for torture, it was the attorney general who shielded officials from prosecution. When the Obama administration decided it would expand secret and warrantless surveillance, it was Holder who justified it. When the president wanted the authority to kill any American he deemed a threat without charge or trial, it was Holder who went public to announce the "kill list" policy.

Last week, the Justice Department confirmed that it was Holder who personally approved the equally abusive search of Fox News correspondent James Rosen's e-mail and phone records in another story involving leaked classified information. In the 2010 application for a secret warrant, the Obama administration named Rosen as "an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator" to the leaking of classified materials. The Justice Department even investigated Rosen's parents' telephone number, and Holder was there to justify every attack on the news media.

Yet, at this month's hearing, the attorney general had had his fill. Accordingly, Holder adopted an embarrassing mantra of "I have no knowledge" and "I had no involvement" throughout the questioning. When he was not reciting the equivalent to his name, rank and serial number, he was implicating his aide, Deputy Attorney General James Cole. Cole, it appears, is Holder's sin eater. Holder was so busy denying responsibility for today's scandals, he began denying known facts about older scandals, such as the "Fast and Furious" gun operation....

The feeble response was the ultimate proof that these are Obama's sins despite his effort to feign ignorance. It did not matter that Holder is the sin eater who has lost his stomach or that such mortal sins are not so easily digested. Indeed, these sins should be fatal for any attorney general.

Holder: Obama’s sin eater - neoneocon

It’s interesting that on the issue of Rosen some elements of the left seem to be joining the right in condemning Holder and calling for his resignation. Turley, however, is somewhat unusual on the left in recognizing that Holder’s sins should ultimately be laid at the feet of President Obama.

Krauthammer: Holder Not Sensing Gravity of Situation ‘Makes You Wonder If He Was Anesthetized’ - Noel Sheppard/Newsbusters

Washington launches four different investigations into IRS mess...
Issa subpoenas State Dept. documents on Benghazi...
House Judiciary investigating whether Attorney General lied under oath...
REPORT: Holder 'beginning to feel creeping sense of personal remorse'...

Report: One Out of Every Five Registered Ohio Voters Is Bogus

A new report found that one out of every five Ohio voters was probably ineligible to vote. - Gateway Pundit


You might think these astonishing statistics indicate a crisis-level voter registration problem requiring immediate attention, particularly since this is 2012, not 1912, and modern technology gives us extremely potent tools for accurately managing massive amounts of data. But Attorney General Eric Holder disagrees. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted sent Holder a letter back in February, warning that “common sense says that the odds of voter fraud increase the longer these ineligible voters are allowed to populate our rolls… I simply cannot accept that.” Husted said existing federal regulations “limit Ohio’s ability to remove ineligible names, thereby increasing the chance for voter fraud.”

No one from the Justice Department ever responded. Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which called Ohio’s voter registration train wreck to Husted’s attention, is now suing him for failing to take action, beyond issuing a “directive” to remove ineligible voters that Judicial Watch describes as “all bark and no bite,” since there is no evidence that anything was actually done.

Judicial Watch has already filed a similar lawsuit against the State of Indiana, and says other states with disturbing levels of ineligible registered voters include Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri, Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Alabama, California, and Colorado. Florida’s struggle to clean up its rolls, in the face of active hostility from Eric Holder’s Justice Department, has already made headlines.

Voter rolls in Ohio are bloated, experts say - Darrel Rowland/The Columbus Dispatch

Fracking: How risky for us?

Fracking might taint groundwater and pollute the air. California has two additional worries: water consumed and the potential for earthquakes. - LA Times

In a state as environmentally aware as California, it's alarming how little state government has done to learn about or oversee the practice. Two years ago, the state's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources admitted in a letter that it was "unable to identify" where and how often hydraulic fracturing occurs, how much fresh water is being used for it — though it estimated about 70,000 barrels per well — whether it is being carried out safely or what chemicals are being used.

There have been ongoing concerns in other parts of the country that fracking might taint groundwater and pollute the air. California has two additional worries: how much of the state's scarce water supplies can be spared for fracking, and the potential for earthquakes. The fracturing itself is believed to create little if any seismic danger, but the disposal of the wastewater by injecting it into other wells has been fingered in scientific journals and by the U.S. government as the probable source of earthquakes in areas such as Oklahoma that aren't quake-prone.

California Dems push anti-fracking bills, aim to curb potential oil bonanza - FOX

California is on the verge of a new gold rush. Expanded hydraulic fracturing -- or "fracking" -- at the Monterey Shale formation is sparking estimates that 15 billion barrels of oil could be accessed, along with millions of jobs and huge contributions to the domestic energy supply.

Even the state's green-friendly Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, says "the potential is extraordinary."

But standing in the way is a flurry of anti-fracking bills. At last count, 10 were on the table, all introduced by Democrats seeking tighter controls over the controversial technology.

“No more back-room deals between bureaucrats and liberal activists”

In short, the government agencies — having become politicized and infiltrated by leftwing ideologues — are essentially working in concert with their NGO adversaries to throw fights: the NGOs sue, the government agencies agree to settle, and deals that include regulation favorable to the NGOs become set in bureaucratic stone with no input from the public. - Protein Wisdom

National Editorial: No more back-room deals between bureaucrats and liberal activists - Washington Examiner

Previously in this space, The Washington Examiner described an important new report compiled by an 11-person research team from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce entitled "Sue and Settle: Regulating Behind Closed Doors." The chamber's report identified at least 71 federal court cases since 2009 in which federal agencies -- most often, the Environmental Protection Agency -- made back-room deals with Big Green environmental activist groups like the Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians. The activist groups then sued the agency asking the court to order the agency to do what it already agreed to do in the backroom. The group and the agency then told the court that they had settled their "issues" and the court issued a consent decree ratifying the whole rotten procedure.

Sue and settle is anti-democratic because it cuts out of the regulatory process everybody not present in the back-room dickering. Sue and settle is also unconstitutional -- at least in spirit if not fact -- since it supplants elected representatives making law in public with unelected bureaucrats making law behind closed doors. By denying an opportunity for public comment, the process also violates the Administrative Procedures Act that Congress approved in 1946 to insure transparency and accountability in the federal regulatory process. Finally, sue and settle is extraordinarily expensive because agencies typically use it to impose costly regulatory regimens without consideration of less expensive options typically proposed during the preliminary phase of rule-making under the APA.... read the whole thing, at the link

For those interested in the #Monsanto #GMO study

PAPER: Gibson Guitar raids may be another case of Obama administration targeting

The Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups puts the federal government’s raids on Gibson Guitar Corp. in a new light, according to a recent Investor’s Business Daily editorial.

“We don’t what is motivating it,” Juszkiewicz said on the Hugh Hewitt Show. “It is…clear to me that there is some terrific motivation because we are not the only company that uses this type of wood. Virtually every other guitar company uses this wood and this wood is used prominently by furniture and architectural industries, and to my knowledge none of them have been shut down or treated in this fashion.”

In August 2012, Gibson settled with the Department of Justice by agreeing to pay a penalty of $300,000 and a $50,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation....

According to IBD, one of Gibson’s top competitors, C.F. Martin & Co., frequently uses the same “East Indian Rosewood” without any legal repercussions. The editorial also notes that C.F. Martin & Co. CEO gives to Democratic candidates, while Gibson’s CEO is a Republican donor.

Krauthammer on the war on terror: I’m afraid Obama is going to leave us extremely open to attack

Krauthammer says that it is adolescent, naive, and dangerous that Obama wants to declare unilaterally that the war on terror is over. - The Right Scoop