News of the Week for May. 19th, 2013
- Obama Scandals
- Gun Rights
- Hide the Decline
- War & Terror
- National News
- Economy & Taxes
- International News
Now we can dare call the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups a conspiracy
The notion that a few “low level” local IRS employees went rogue is false.
Tea party groups threaten to sue IRS
Tea party groups on Monday are threatening to sue the Internal Revenue Service after the agency admitted last week that it wrongly targeted conservative groups applying for nonprofit status.
Revealed: The 55 questions the IRS asked one tea party group after more than two years of waiting – including demands for names of all its donors and volunteers
Lengthy questionnaire arrived more than two years after the Richmond Tea Party applied for tax-exempt status
IRS demanded ‘names of the donors, contributors, and grantors’ and insisted: ‘Please identify your volunteers’
Tax collectors began in 2012 to scrutinize conservative nonprofits more closely than others
Documents show senior IRS officials in Washington knew of the practice as early as August 2011, but the White House says it learned last month
Gov’t obtains wide AP phone records in probe
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.
The IRS admits to ‘targeting’ conservative groups, but were they also ‘leaking’?
A little over a year ago, I reported that, ”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.”
The New JournoList spin on the IRS
That’s funny. Two different articles, one in Mother Jones, one in the WaPo, yet they’re running the exact same explanation as to why the IRS targeted conservative groups filing for tax exemptions.
IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups
Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved in the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
IRS boss of Tea Party probes targeted anti-Clinton group in 1990s
Steven T. Miller, the acting IRS commissioner who managed the division that has admitted targeting anti-Obama Tea Party groups, was one of several agents who investigated anti-Clinton organizations including Judicial Watch during that Democrat’s administration, according to court documents and interviews.
Media coalition letter of protest to Attorney General Eric Holder
Letter from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to Attorney General Eric Holder, protesting the Justice Department’s subpoena of Associated Press phone records.
Complete copy of Treasury Report on IRS targeting of Tea Party and conservatives
I’d be interested in what you find that we don’t already know.
The IRS wants YOU — to share everything
The Internal Revenue Service asked tea party groups to see donor rolls.
Double standard? IRS targeted conservatives, despite spike in applications from labor groups
While IRS officials attributed the agency’s heavy scrutiny on conservative groups to the spike in applications over the past few years, fresh reports and figures are raising questions about whether the agency knowingly applied a double standard.
So How Did Obama’s Organizing for Action Get IRS 501(c)(4) Approval So Quickly?
With Obama’s IRS scandal mushrooming by the day, we’ve been learning that some applications for 501(c)(4) status have languished for years and while some targeted groups have simply given up since delays were so long. Yet curiously, some groups favorable to Obama or actually run by an Obama have been mysteriously sped up through the process.
IRS Asks for Reading List, Tea Party Group Sends Constitution
When Marion Bower decided to start her tea party organization in 2010, she didn’t know that it would take nearly two years for the Internal Revenue Service to approve her request for tax-exempt status.
Obama Scandal Scorecard
Well, this all escalated quickly.
In case you’re having trouble keeping up here’s a quick rundown of the scandals engulfing the beleaguered Obama administration. I’ve put them in order of what I think is their seriousness.
Reporter Claims IRS Harassment After Tough Obama Interview *UPDATE: Conners Muzzled
St. Louis Reporter Larry Conners revealed via Facebook yesterday that he has been “hammered” by the IRS since his much-discussed interview with President Obama. Conners, a veteran reporter, asked tough, but fair question during the interview which was slammed by progressives in media.
“The government has mandated speech codes on all campuses”
“I hoped I would never see this day, but I feared I would.”
The Administration Says Universities Must Implement Broad Speech Codes
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is telling universities to institute speech codes.
News of DOJ/DOE Mandate Spreads
Pressure continues to build in reaction to last week’s mandate from the Departments of Justice and Education regarding sexual harassment on campus.
The ignored DOJ scandal — anti-free speech codes on campuses
Amidst all the scandals exposed these past two weeks, one is being ignored by the mainstream media and most of the conservative media as well — the actions of the Department of Justice and Department of Education to force colleges and universities to impose anti-free speech codes.
Sweet Irony: Obama admin obsession with Tea Party comes back to bite it
Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better: A rebel group of engaged activists, derided and harassed by authorities, becomes the obsession of a powerful political machine, leading to the demise of … the machine.
IRS To Conservatives: “Provide Details Regarding All Of Your Facebook Or Twitter Activity”
It has become difficult to keep track of all the different “-gates” the Obama administration has suddenly found itself embroiled in: perhaps an appropriate name would be Gate-r-gate? And with the just concluded farce in which Jay Carney passed off all AP-related questions to Eric Holder, who in turn recused himself and told the media to please crucify the Deputy AG instead, it is unlikely that any material new information will be disclosed any time soon.
Did Dem Sen. Max Baucus Urge the IRS to Target Conservatives?
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) recently announced his retirement from the Senate. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, though, he would be in charge of investigating the Internal Revenue Service’s years-long effort targeting conservative groups as long as he remains in the Senate. According to the Daily Caller, Baucus need look no further than his own desk for the origins of the targeting scheme.
‘Stunner’: Congressman Claims DOJ Seized House of Reps Phone Records
Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Wednesday during an interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show that the Justice Department in its investigation of the Associated Press seized phone records from the House of Representatives.
Holder Justice Department Also Tapped House of Representatives Cloak Room
Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) went on the Hugh Hewitt Show tonight and dropped this bombshell. The Holder-Obama Justice Department tapped the House of Representatives Cloak Room.
IRS denied tax-exempt status to pro-lifers on behalf of Planned Parenthood
IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.
An Open Letter To Speaker Boehner…Shut It Down
Speaker Boehner, The revelations about the corruption and abuses of power within in the Obama administration has shown one thing very clearly…Obama has not taken care that the laws of the United States be faithfully executed.
IRS Deliberately Chose Not to Fess Up to Scandal Before Election
“[I]f this fact came out in September 2012, in the middle of a presidential election? The terrain would have looked very different.”
IRS Official in Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs Health Care Office
The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.
The Liberal Union Behind the IRS
Obama, IG Report refuse to touch powerful Treasury Employees Union headed by ex-IRS agent.
Nunes Clarifies DOJ Phone-Tapping Allegation
Yesterday, on High Hewitt’s radio show, Representative Devin Nunes, a California Republican, seemed to allege that the Justice Department had also “tapped” phone lines in the cloakroom, a room for lawmakers near the House floor.
Who wrote the Questionnaire*? (*that the IRS reserved for Tea Party groups)?
Looking at the “IRS letters to Tea Party groups“, J. Christian Adams found that they “read like an opposition researcher’s fantasy: demands for the names of volunteers, money, content of speeches, donors, offices, on and on and on.”
The IRS is deeply political — and very Democratic
Federal officials used the power of the state to intimidate and harass critics of President Obama and the federal government. When the higher levels of the Internal Revenue Service learned that one office was inappropriately targeting Tea Party groups, these officials nevertheless denied it — until they were forced to fess up.
Conservative Hispanic Groups Targeted In IRS Scandal
The Internal Revenue Service scandal involving the apparently unjustified targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups has also hit home with the Hispanic community.
IRS Commissioner: Activity ‘Absolutely Not Illegal’
IRS commissioner Steven Miller said the IRS’s targeting of conservatives “is absolutely not illegal”
Treasury Knew of I.R.S. Inquiry in 2012, Official Says
The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.
Obama Administration Knew of IRS Scandal 5 Months Before Election
In no uncertain terms and with no hedging, The New York Times reports that the Obama administration was aware of the fact that the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups as far back as June of 2012. The Treasury Department’s Inspector General confirmed that he told senior Treasury officials in June of 2012, a full five months before Election Day
IRS accused of hiding existence of Tea Party targeting documents
Legal Insurrection and Judicial Watch file suit to obtain David Gregory gun law violation documents
Judicial Watch, a leading government open records organization, announced today that it has filed suit on behalf of Legal Insurrection to obtain documents regarding David Gregory’s violation of the District of Columbia gun laws and the investigation which led to the decision of the District of Columbia Attorney General not to prosecute
Majority of Colorado sheriffs file suit against new gun laws
Sheriffs in Colorado filed a federal lawsuit Friday ahead of the implementation of new state gun laws that broaden background checks and limit the size of ammunition magazines, saying that the bills would be nearly impossible to enforce.
Obama administration gives wind farms a pass on eagle deaths, prosecutes oil companies
The Obama administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind farm for killing eagles and other protected bird species, shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret, an Associated Press investigation has found.
Multidecadal Variations and Sea Surface Temperature Reconstructions
This is a somewhat lengthy blog post. There’s lots of information for newcomers, and there are new presentations of data (new for me) for those who have already examined multidecadal variations in sea surface temperatures.
EPA waives fee requests for friendly groups, denies conservative groups
Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Conservative Enterprise Institute.
IEA Predicts More Trouble for OPEC
It’s only Tuesday, yet it’s already shaping into a rough week for OPEC. Yesterday we heard that the American shale boom was hurting the petrochemicals industries of OPEC’s Middle Eastern members. Today a new International Energy Agency report suggests that the US may soon steal OPEC’s thunder in conventional energy as well. The report predicts that rising production in the US, mixed with falling demand for OPEC energy, could cause oil prices to fall dramatically.
Climate models getting worse than we thought
New paper finds climate models are getting worse rather than better
The 97% consensus – a lie of epic proportions
Proving that crap can flow uphill, yesterday, John Cook got what one could consider the ultimate endorsement. A tweet from the Twitter account of the Twitterer in Chief, Barack Obama, about Cook’s 97% consensus lie.
Government in Healthcare
IRS faces class action lawsuit over theft of 60 million medical records
The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
A Small Business Owner Explains the Hard Facts of Obamacare to Employees
There’s been a lot of discussion about the challenges faced by businesses large and small in managing health care costs, especially as those costs escalate and as employers’ options are increasingly limited by the strictures imposed by Obamacare.
CDC: 1 In 5 US Children May Have Mental Disorder
Nearly 1 in 5 children in the U.S. suffers from a mental disorder, and this number has been rising for more than a decade.
Anonymous Cincinnati IRS official: “Everything comes from the top.”
A story in the Washington Post yesterday about the Internal Revenue Service’s Cincinnati office, which does most of the agency’s nonprofit auditing, clearly contradicted earlier reports that the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups was the result of rogue agents.
Pfeiffer on IRS Scandal: ‘Law Is Irrelevant’
Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer was asked on TV this morning whether he thinks the IRS actions violated the law
Obamacare’s Cadillac Tax Won’t be as Big as Thought
Corporate America’s response to the 40%, “Cadillac Tax” on employee benefits exceeding $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families is driving up the cost of healthcare for both workers and taxpayers. The Congressional Budget Office released a report this week that cuts its estimate of revenue from the tax 42 percent over the next decade, from $137 billion to about $80 billion. The reason is that businesses are doing everything in their power to avoid the tax. In fact, few companies may end up paying the tax at all, further increasing the cost of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
Your Next IRS Political Audit
The tax agency is getting vast new power in health care.
7 Caught Trespassing At Quabbin Reservoir; Patrols Stepped Up Across State
Shortly after midnight Tuesday, seven people were caught trespassing at the Quabbin Reservoir.
Supreme Court rules for Monsanto, says farmer violated genetically modified soybeans’ patent
Farmers must pay Monsanto each time they plant the company’s genetically modified soybeans, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, rejecting an Indiana farmer’s argument that his unorthodox techniques did not violate the company’s patent.
Philly Abortion Doctor Guilty in 3 Babies’ Deaths
A Philadelphia abortion doctor was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies who authorities say were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy clinic, in a case that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over abortion.
Abortion doctor convicted of murder waives appeal, avoids death sentence
A Philadelphia abortion provider found guilty of first-degree murder has agreed give up his right to appeal in exchange for avoiding a possible death sentence, Philadelphia’s district attorney’s office announced Tuesday.
Swarthmore Spinning Out of Control
What happens when Saul Alinsky goes to college? Intimidation, polarization, and an end to the free inquiry and exchange that are the hallmarks of liberal education. That’s what’s happening at Swarthmore, a prestigious liberal-arts college outside of Philadelphia, where fossil-fuel-divestment activists schooled in techniques of “direct-action protest” have allied with a range of leftist groups to seize control of the college from an administration unwilling to stop them.
Whites-Only Fellowship Sparks Major Conundrum for Columbia University — Here’s How Officials Want to Fix It
Columbia University is seeking to change the terms of a fellowship that can only be awarded to white students from Iowa.
House unanimously votes for government-free Internet
The House on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation reaffirming U.S. policy as one that supports an Internet that is “free from government control.”
Gosnell Gives Up Appeal, Prosecutors Agree to Life in Prison, No Death Penalty
Abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell has given up his right to appeal the verdict that found him guilty on three of the four first-degree murder charges he faced.
How the 2013 World Press Photo of the Year was faked with Photoshop
It turns out that the 2013 World Press Photo of the Year — the largest and most prestigious press photography award — was, in actual fact, a fake. The World Press Photo association hasn’t yet stripped the photographer, Paul Hansen, of the title, but presumably it’s just a matter of time.
Lisa Jackson’s Official Portrait: I’m Guessing That’s a Watercolor?
Courtesy Sean Hackbarth, here is the official portrait of former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson.
Elizabeth Warren’s low-information student loan spear
You remember Upworthy, the epitome of low-information in support of Obama and progressives, Upworthy — or, How we are losing the internet to lowest of low information young liberals.
More than 100 Occupy the Farm protesters return to University of California-owned Gill Tract
Chanting “Whose farm? Our farm!” some 150 people marched from Albany City Hall to a weed-strewn plot of University of California-owned land where they yanked out 3-foot-tall weeds and planted squash and tomato seedlings.
Mia Love announces 2014 congressional candidacy
Mia Love announced her second candidacy for the 4th Congressional District.
Voter Fraud Changed the Outcome of a Missouri Election
In the midst of the scandals engulfing the White House this week, an interesting story out of Kansas City, Mo., has gotten lost. Those who insist that (a) there is no voter fraud and (b) it does not affect elections when it occurs are probably happy about that.
A Second Kermit Gosnell? In Texas?
With the conclusion of the trial involving Philly abortionist Kermit Gosnell, another may be in the works. This time we’re in Texas. Sordid details have been documented about an abortionist, who twisted the heads off of babies. Additionally, he allegedly ripped living babies apart during the procedure. As Live Action’s investigation into the late-term abortion industry have exposed, Gosnell is not alone.
Craft Beer’s Overtaxed, Senators Say
Eighteen senators want to encourage drinking craft beer. They’re touting new legislation to slash the excise tax on beer produced by smaller breweries.
Eating Their Own: Teamsters Acting Like ‘Parasite’ Stealing Other Unions’ Members
With nearly $15 million at stake, the Teamsters raid two airlines’ unions
Argentina’s Deadbeat Special: Buy a 4% Bond or Go to Jail
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wants tax evaders hiding about $160 billion in dollars to help finance Argentina’s oil-producing ambitions. Her offer: Buy a 4 percent bond or face the prospect of jail time.
Detroit Sinks to New Low
We all knew Detroit had it bad, but we had no idea it was this bad.
Google insider exposes ‘immoral’ tax scam
A FORMER Google executive has blown the whistle on a massive and “immoral” tax avoidance scheme that has “cheated” British taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of pounds over the past decade.
Taxes on some wealthy French top 100% of income
More than 8,000 French households’ tax bills topped 100 percent of their income last year, the business newspaper Les Echos reported on Saturday, citing Finance Ministry data.
Now Venezuela is running out of toilet paper
Already short of some foods, Venezuela is facing a toilet paper crisis, government says
Which EU Economies Are Growing?
As Europe ends another week comfortably in the green (near all-time highs) – the short answer – not many…as the region’s longest recession in history rolls on…
One dead, dozens wounded in sectarian clashes in Egypt
One person died and dozens were wounded during clashes between Muslims and Christians late Friday night outside a Coptic church in Egypt’s second city, state newspaper al-Ahram reported, in the latest violent sectarian row in the Muslim-majority country.
Council vetoes flag of St George after concerns raised about links to Crusades
A local council decided against flying the flag of St George after concerns were raised that it would offend the town’s 16 Muslim residents.
Rand Paul, fusionist
Eliana Johnson reports on Rand Paul’s visit to Iowa, which soon will be followed by visits to New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. As Eliana’s report makes clear, outreach to social conservatives was a main purpose of Paul’s trip to Iowa. The front page of today’s Washington Post also contains a story, albeit less insightful, about Paul’s outreach efforts.
Gosnell Did What Many Bioethicists Advocate
To say the least, I am very pleased that Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of three first-degree murders (among other crimes) for the slaughter of three babies born alive after botched abortions. But this clear victory for justice should not blind us to the societal context in which these crimes occurred.
The Perils of Toy Shopping With a Feminist Mom
Three generations of women walk into a toy shop. The older woman’s goal is simple: to find a fabulous toy for a little girl. It aligns exactly with the goals of the child, recently turned 3 and freshly aware of the thrill of buying stuff.
See no Evil
So you and me, imagine that we’re good little liberals, members of the press. All our friends are liberals, and all our co-workers, and the people we work for, and everyone whose opinions we respect, all liberals. Yeah, out there somewhere are those people, those damned conservatives, but they don’t matter. They are an obstruction, buncha racists, stupid, venal, and the sooner they’re sidelined and ignored, the better. In the mean time, good little liberals like us have to work to advance the program, right? Breitbart et al need not apply.
In Praise of Paranoia
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.
Technocratic Folly: Why Men Will Never Become Gods
For those who have studied the musings of the global elites, one primary “theology” rises to the surface, and it is this theology that appears to be the apex motivation in everything that they do. This “religion”, as it were, does not revolve around the worship of any single deity. Though the globalists fancy themselves academics of mythology and secret spiritualisms, in the end, they do not seek to worship a god; rather, they desire to be “worshiped” as “gods”.
What We Lose In Our Child-free Culture
When I was a teen, a funny thing happened: I discovered that I liked babysitting. Not enough that I felt any yearnings to be a teen mom or that I would have forgone my earnings, but enough that I would often realize at one of those times when none of the children were squabbling or attempting some stunt that put them in peril that I was strangely at peace, that the usual turbulence of my teen emotions were temporarily quelled.
The Myth of the Scientific Liberal
Those who tout science should accept its findings.
Want to Keep Obama’s IRS Scandal in the News? Use Democrat Tactics Against Them
Eventually the media will be sufficiently distracted by Team Obama to go cover other issues, so here’s an idea how the GOP can keep the Obama IRS Scandal in the news: Start parading the victims of the IRS witch-hunt before the cameras. Think about it. Whenever the Democrats want to push an issue, be it gun control, immigration reform, women’s issues or healthcare, what do they do? They find “victims” to use in tear-jerking fashion in order to advance their agenda.
Republicans and the Long Game
The sudden deluge of scandal which dominates the discussion around President Obama’s administration at the moment has handed a golden opportunity to Republicans. Yet if they aren’t careful, they’ll squander this opening completely by allowing their intense dislike of the president to cloud their judgment, missing the broader political lessons for the sake of personal point scoring.
Want to Be Happy? Get to Work
Retiring early can make you depressed and unhealthy, as well as poor, according to a new study by the Institute of Economic Affairs, a British think tank. The IEA looked at micro-level data from 11 countries on the physical and mental health of retirees.
Chrissy Teigen and the Usefulness of Shame
Last night, the delightful Chrissy Teigen pointed out something totally reasonable on Twitter: The Teen Mom Porn Star is terrible.