Monday, May 20, 2013

The Real IRS Scandal

The Nutty Ones have been raising a squall because the IRS used political words like "Tea Party" in a group's name as cues to investigate whether the group had possibly violated laws regulating political campaigning by tax-exempt nonprofits. The teabaggers, who are naturally paranoid anyway, started screaming "the government is out to get us!" --even though none of the conservative groups were denied their applications.

And in fact, that seems to be the real scandal. Many of those groups should have been rejected.

The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights covered the story and looked into it quite a bit further. The first part of their article is common knowledge, so I'll skip down. I'm going to copy a big chunk.
The Inspector General’s report found that in the “majority of cases, we agreed that the applications submitted included indications of significant political campaign intervention.” (p. 10). In fact, only 91 of the 296, roughly 31%, of the applications reviewed for the report did not have “indications of significant political campaign intervention.” In other words, more than two thirds of those flagged for processing by a team of specialists had those indications.

IREHR Investigation Reveals Further Questionable Activity
That sort of political campaign intervention would normally disqualify a group from 501(c)(4) status, but the deluge of Tea Party applications combined with the politicization of the process has allowed them to slip through. A closer look by IREHR at the activities of some of the Tea Party groups that are currently under review or have received non-profit status from the IRS, reveals a difficult and dangerous situation.

The First Coast Tea Party Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida, for example, which applied for 501(c)(4) status in 2009 and received it in 2011. Commenting about the recent IRS controversy on Facebook, the group declared “We file a tax return, account for every penny.. We do not endorse candidates that is a no no.” Yet the group’s activities included public bragging about directly helping Republican campaigns. In an August 30, 2012 Facebook post, for instance, the group advertised a Jacksonville rally for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, adding, “bring your chairs and your signs, make sure they know that the First Coast Tea Party is and has been helping their campaign.”

Three weeks later the group declared a “state of emergency” on Facebook, pleading with supporters to campaign for Romney, “FLORIDA FRIENDS, IF YOU LIVE IN ANY OF THESE 3 COUNTIES GET OFF THE COUCH NOW, GET YOUR FRIENDS OFF THE COUCH. GET TO THE REPUBLICAN HEADQUARTERS AND OFFER AND THEN DO SOME WORK. PHONES, (YOU CAN EVEN DO THESE CALLS FROM HOME) AND WALK AND KNOCK. NOW. WE CANNOT LOSE FLORIDA TO OBAMA.. NOW. THIS IS MOST CRITICAL.” [Emphasis in Original] These weren’t posts from some random supporter on the group’s Facebook page, they were posts from the official account of the organization.

Similarly, the Louisville Tea Party was granted 501(c)(4) status in 2009. Nevertheless, it published a list of “officially tea party endorsed candidates for the 2011 Kentucky primary.” They also published an article “The Rationale for Romney-Ryan,” arguing for Tea Partiers to vote for the Republican candidate.

Then there’s the Katy Tea Party Patriots, which filed for 501(c)(4) non-profit status in 2009. This group actually ran an “Oust Obama 2012” campaign, organizing block-watching with the Fort Bend GOP, and phone-banking against Obama at GOP headquarters in Sugarland and Houston, Texas. Still featured on the frontpage of the group’s website at the time this article was written is an October 4, 2012 article entitled, “Our Country's Future” by Katy Tea Party Patriots President, Darcy Kahrhoff. She urged members to vote for Gov. Romney. "Please take time to talk with friends and family you may have living out of state, and try to convince them to vote for Governor Romney, especially if you have friends and family in Florida, Colorado, or Ohio.  Also, find a Senatorial candidate to support in these states, and go to FreedomWorks to phone bank for these patriots.  Everything you can do to help will matter. We can, and we must, win this!"

Not to be outdone, is the Central Valley Tea Party Inc. This regional California Tea Party group was granted the much more politically limiting IRS 501(c)(3) tax status back in 2009.  It should be noted that this tax-status explicitly prohibits partisan political activity. According the IRS, “Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to all campaigns including campaigns at the federal, state and local level. Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.”

Despite this (c)(3) designation, the group appears to have been involved in partisan political activity. Currently, the frontpage of the group's website features "upcoming events" instructing members to "Volunteer for Measure G," and "Volunteer for Vidak for Senate.” In the latter case, the website simply tells members, "Please volunteer to do phone banking or precinct walking to help win the election."

Further stretching IRS regulations, the group’s newsletter endorsed and advertised conservative candidates. In an article in the October 2012 issue of the Central Valley Tea Party Times entitled, "Why You Should Be Excited to Vote for Mitt Romney," Paul Szopa told fellow Central Valley Tea Partiers to get out and campaign for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, "So it’s time to get excited to vote for the better candidate. It’s time to talk him up to friends and family. It’s time to join with groups like Operation Swing State (www.operationswingstate.org) and make calls in support of his candidacy." The group’s “Voter Guide” published on the front page of the newsletter is even less ambiguous, listing all the candidates that the group recommended as well as their positions on all of the ballot measures.

Issues of the publication even featured advertisements for conservative campaigns. The April-June 2012 edition of the Central Valley Tea Party Times features an advertisement for Whelan for Congress on page 27, another for Frank Bigelow for the 5th District California Assembly seat on page 38, and an ad "Elect Richard J. (Rick) Farinelli, Madera County Supervisor District III" on page 39. And the August-September 2010 edition of the Central Valley Tea Party Times features an ad for Diane Lenning a write-in candidate for CA state superintendent of Public Instruction. So does the October-November 2010 edition.

Another Tea Party group granted the 501(c)(3) non-profit status by the IRS, is the Tifton, Georgia-based Tiftarea Tea Party Patriots, Inc., which received the designation in 2010. The group also appears to have engaged in openly political activity, including publicly endorsing candidates. On October 9, 2012, in a post on the group’s website “Are you ready to vote?” the group offered up an endorsement for Romney, “The choice is simple. Obama has stated, He will transform America and acted to do such. Everything this Administration stands for, is Government and control of every aspect of life. This is the pipe dream of a Socialist’s mentality, for in their eyes, you the individual, do not know and cannot do, what is right, so someone else has to make decisions for you, to ensure, you do not make the wrong choices or actions. Or you chose Romney, who does not want to transform America, the greatest nation in history of human kind.  He wants to allow, the individual, to have the right, to succeed and fail on his own regard, while ensuring those freedoms, given by our Creator and to assure those inalienable rights, written about in the Declaration of Independence are retained by their proper owners, ‘We the People.’”

These are but a few of the many examples of political intervention by Tea Party non-profits that IREHR has catalogued. There are many, many more. They’re not difficult to find.  Rather than the so-called scandal cooked up by Tea Party groups, the real criticism of the IRS may be that it has let so many of these groups get away with what are apparently egregious violations.

After the firing of several high level IRS employees over this incident, how likely is it that Tea Party groups will be prevented these sorts of violations in the future? The Tea Party and the IRS “Scandal” The Actual Facts of the Case
The IRS had tax-code violators in their sights, and rather than antagonize them they let them get away with it. That is the real scandal.

105 Comments:

Anonymous have a nice day!! said...

no, the real scandal is that the government is in the business of judging free speech at all

the restriction on churches speaking on political issue is unconstitutional and stemmed from LBJ trying to get revenge on a church in Texas that didn't support his Senatorial campaign in the 50s

"The Nutty Ones have been raising a squall because the IRS"

Jim apparently believes everyone who is not a member of TTF is nutty, despite the fact that so many TTFers have undergone therapy

Democrats, from the President on down, have expressed outrage at the IRS scandal

"Even many Democrats in Congress are tired of all these evasions. Having been misled by the Obama administration for so long on the IRS scandal, they aren’t likely to go out on a limb defending the cover-up.

Representative Joe Crowley of New York, one of top-ranking Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee, is calling for IRS official Lois Lerner to resign. Crowley told MSNBC that Lerner “failed to answer the question” when he asked her at a Ways and Means hearing on May 8 of this year whether the IRS was investigating groups that had applied for tax-exempt status. “She then two days later planted a question at a press event, only to then use that opportunity to apologize for what the IRS had been doing,” Crowley said. He added that when he later confronted her about the contradiction, she denied she’d even been asked about the political targeting at the hearing.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is going further. A former state auditor, she has had years of experience with dissembling bureaucrats and errant officials. Last Friday, she issued a video statement calling for a full house-cleaning of everyone involved in the scandal: “We should not only fire the head of the IRS, which has occurred, but we’ve got to go down the line and find every single person who had anything to do with this and make sure that they are removed from the IRS and the word goes out that this unacceptable.”"

they are all nuts!!!

nuts, I tell you!!!

May 20, 2013 2:42 PM  
Anonymous have a scrumptious day!! said...

just like Watergate, it daily creeps closer to the Oval office:

WASHINGTON -- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledged on Monday that senior staffers to President Barack Obama were informed in late April that a forthcoming audit of the IRS would reveal that officials there had targeted conservative groups. Speaking to reporters at his daily briefing, Carney said White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler told top staffers that an inspector general audit was near completion after she herself was notified of the audit on April 24. Carney said Ruemmler had told Chief of Staff Denis McDonough about the forthcoming report but he did not name the other staffers who were briefed.

May 20, 2013 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe this is an example of Obama's 11-dimensional jujitsu, and these investigations will bring out into the open the obvious fact that a group that calls itself "The Something-Something Tea Party" is political, and ineligible for tax-exempt contributions. The Obama IRS uncovered impropriety and looked the other way -- shame on them!

May 20, 2013 4:17 PM  
Anonymous have a nice twilight!! said...

what you don't seem to grasp is that 501(c)(4) organizations are permitted to engage in political activities

these groups weren't applying for 501(c)(3) status

other than that, chapter 501 organizations are free to engage in political activities, under certain conditions

so, this was not a justification for the IRS harassment activity

this is all kind of rhetorical though because the IRS knows restrictions on political speech are unconstitutional so they never pursue action against charities that engage in politics, preferring to just bluff their way to violating the rights of citizens

when they held up these applications, they didn't explain why, out of fear that would become clear

May 20, 2013 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last Sunday we learned:

"A CNN/ORC poll released Sunday morning shows 53 percent approve of the president, with 45 percent disapproving. Obama held a 51 percent approval in the last CNN poll conducted in early April."

Now we have some more numbers:

"A new poll shows a rise in approval for the Tea Party movement, amid a growing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups.

A CNN/ORC poll released Monday found 37 percent of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, up 9 points from their 28 percent positive rating in March.
The 37 percent approval rating is just one percentage point below the movement’s all-time high in CNN/ORC’s polling.

A plurality of respondents, though, still hold an unfavorable view of Tea Party groups. Forty-five percent have a negative view of the movement, but that figure is down 3 points from March.

The poll's findings come after the IRS admitted employees had been applying a higher level of scrutiny to conservative organizations applying for tax-exempt status, singling out those with “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names."

May 20, 2013 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Washington Post poll today reported that a majority of respondents thought that the Justice Department subpoena of reporters' phone records was an appropriate response.

The poll said large majorities felt that the focus on Tea Party groups was inappropriate.

May 21, 2013 12:06 PM  
Anonymous have a snappy afternoon!! said...

fascinating, Robert

Nixon won 49 states after the Watergate break-in

these things take a while to seep down into the public consciousness

"Everyone with any common sense has been raising a squall because the IRS used political words like "Tea Party" in a group's name as cues to investigate whether the group had possibly violated laws regulating political campaigning by tax-exempt nonprofits"

Jim Kennedy is dead wrong here.

These groups weren't being investigated for violating any laws.

They had applied for tax-exempt status.

Regardless of the outcome of the IRS determination, the groups weren't guilty of, and weren't accused of committing any crimes.

btw, this process where the IRS determines whether a group is granted status is not supposed to be an investigation at all. The IRS is not supposed to be looking for evidence but simply determining whether the groups' stated purpose deserves tax-exempt status.

To the extent they get away with seeking documents and communications' records, it is only because they are bullies and everyone's afraid of them.

They have no legal justification for doing this.

May 21, 2013 12:43 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "no, the real scandal is that the government is in the business of judging free speech at all...what you don't seem to grasp is that 501(c)(4) organizations are permitted to engage in political activities
these groups weren't applying for 501(c)(3) status other than that, chapter 501 organizations are free to engage in political activities, under certain conditions so, this was not a justification for the IRS harassment activity.".

What you refuse to admit (but of which you are well aware) is that the right to free speech is not and has never been absolute - you can't shout "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, you can't call for a person you dislike to be murdered, and you have no right to tax exempt status as a 501(c)(4) organization if you're directly or indirectly participating or intervening in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.[Reg. 1.501(c)(4)-1(a)(2)(i)]

A 501(c)(4) organization must be operated exclusively for the promotion of "social welfare", such as civics and civics issues, or local associations of employees (and not to promote or oppose specific candidates for office) and with net earnings devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes. A 501(c)(4) is permitted to inform the public on controversial subjects and attempt to influence legislation relevant to its program and, may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as its primary activity is the promotion of social welfare AND IT DOES NOT PARTICIPATE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS ON BEHALF OF OR IN OPPOSITION TO SPECIFIC CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE.

Indisputably most of these "tea party" or "patriot" organizations registered as 501 (c)(4) organizations were not operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare and were involved both directly and indirectly in promoting and opposing specific candidates for office which is NOT permitted. They broke the law and the only scandal here is that the IRS did nothing about it.

No one is infringing on their right to free speech, churches, "patriot" and "tea party" groups are free to endorse or oppose whatever candidates for office they chose, but THEY ARE NOT PERMITTED TO DO SO WHILE HAVING THE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZE THEIR EFFORTS WITH TAX EXEMPT STATUS. THAT IS AGAINST THE LAW AND THE IRS IS NEGLIGENT IN FAILING TO PURSUE ACTION AGAINST THEM.

If bad anonymous weren't so willfully dishonest you could feel sorrry for him running futile laps on a mental cul-de-sac and thinking he's going somewhere.

May 21, 2013 1:48 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

And for the 73rd time in the past six months Priya hands bad anonymous his ass.

May 21, 2013 1:57 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

LOL! How embarrasing for a self-confessed American political junky to be repeatedly schooled by a Canadian with a passing interest.

May 21, 2013 2:14 PM  
Anonymous have a fun evening!! said...

lazy priya, you have no idea what you're talking about

"Lois Lerner, the IRS official who first disclosed the agency’s improper targeting of conservative groups two weeks ago, will invoke her right not to testify Wednesday for fear of self-incrimination, her lawyer has told the House Oversight Committee.

“The committee has been contacted by Ms. Lerner’s lawyer who stated that his client intended to invoke her Fifth Amendment right and refuse to answer questions,” said oversight spokesman Ali Ahmad.

Ahmad said Lerner, the head of the IRS’s tax-exempt organizations division, would still be required to appear before the committee, which means she will have to plead the Fifth in person and on camera.

“Ms. Lerner remains under subpoena from Chairman Issa to appear at tomorrow’s hearing — the committee has a Constitutional obligation to conduct oversight,” Ahmad said. “Chairman Issa remains hopeful that she will ultimately decide to testify tomorrow about her knowledge of outrageous IRS targeting of Americans for their political beliefs.”

May 21, 2013 6:55 PM  
Anonymous have a nice day tonight!! said...

oh yeah, she didn't do anything

that's why she's taking the fifth

she's afraid she'll be arrested for being boooooring

May 21, 2013 9:16 PM  
Anonymous have yourself a merry little morning!!! said...

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has no business rummaging through journalists' phone records, perusing their emails and tracking their movements in an attempt to keep them from gathering news. This heavy-handed business isn't chilling, it's just plain cold.

It also may well be unconstitutional. In my reading, the First Amendment prohibition against "abridging the freedom ... of the press" should rule out secretly obtaining two months' worth of the personal and professional phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors, including calls to and from the main AP phone number at the House press gallery in the Capitol. Yet this is what the Justice Department did.

The unwarranted snooping, which was revealed last week, would be troubling enough if it were an isolated incident. But it is part of a pattern that threatens to redefine investigative reporting as criminal behavior.

The Washington Post reported Monday that the Justice Department secretly obtained phone and email records for Fox News reporter James Rosen, and that the FBI even tracked his movements in and out of the main State Department building. Rosen's only apparent transgression? Doing what reporters are supposed to do, which is to dig out the news.

In both instances, prosecutors were trying to build criminal cases under the 1917 Espionage Act against federal employees suspected of leaking classified information. Before President Obama took office, the Espionage Act had been used to prosecute leakers a grand total of three times, including the 1971 case of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Obama's Justice Department has used the act six times. And counting.

May 22, 2013 8:43 AM  
Anonymous have yourself a merry little morning!! said...

Obviously, the government has a duty to protect genuine secrets. But the problem is that every administration, without exception, tends to misuse the "Top Secret" stamp -- sometimes from an overabundance of caution, sometimes to keep inconvenient or embarrassing information from coming to light.

That's where journalists come in. Our job, simply, is to find out what the government doesn't want you to know.

Sometimes reporters come across information whose disclosure would genuinely put national security at risk.

When officials appeal to news organizations on such grounds, editors listen.

The case involving The Associated Press is a good example. The story at issue, published last May, involved details of a CIA operation in Yemen that foiled a terrorist plot to bomb an airliner. AP chief executive Gary Pruitt said on "Face the Nation" that the news service agreed to hold the story after administration officials warned publication would threaten security. The AP published only after officials from two government entities said the threat no longer existed, according to Pruitt.

Ironically, this was a story of success in the fight against terrorism. I have to wonder whether the administration's real aim is to find out who leaked this bit of good news -- or to discourage potential leaks of not-so-rosy news in the future.

The Fox News case is even worse. At issue is a 2009 story about how North Korea was expected to react to a U.N. Security Council resolution criticizing the rogue nation's nuclear tests. The Justice Department is prosecuting Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, then an analyst working for the State Department, for allegedly leaking to Fox reporter Rosen a report about what North Korea was thought likely to do.

Prosecutors examined Rosen's phone records, read his emails and, using the electronic record left by his security badge, even tracked when he entered and left the State Department building. How did officials justify such snooping? By asserting in an FBI affidavit, according to the Post, that Rosen broke the law "at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator."

In other words, since there is no law that makes publishing this classified information illegal, the Justice Department claims that obtaining the information was a violation of the Espionage Act.

Rosen has not been charged. Every investigative reporter, however, has been put on notice.

If this had been the view of prior administrations, surely Bob Woodward would be a lifer in some federal prison. The cell next door might be occupied by my Post colleague Dana Priest, who disclosed the CIA's network of secret prisons. Or by The New York Times' James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who revealed the National Security Agency's eavesdropping program.

A federal "shield" law protecting reporters from having to divulge their sources means nothing if it includes an exception for cases involving national security, as Obama favors. The president needs to understand that behavior commonly known as "whistleblowing" and "journalism" must not be construed as espionage.

May 22, 2013 8:43 AM  
Anonymous nice... said...

The wheels came off the Obama administration yesterday.

We learned of a startling assault on freedom of the press by the Department of Justice, following the revelation last week of the unprecedented information-gathering foray by that department against The Associated Press.

Then, a few minutes later, the Justice Department’s inspector general released a report declaring that the US attorney in Arizona used the leak of a confidential memo to try to discredit a whistleblower in the notorious “gun-walking” scandal known as Fast and Furious (which got two federal agents killed). The leak was called “egregious.” The US attorney, Dennis Burke, was an Obama political appointee.

A few hours after that, we were told that everybody at the most senior levels of the White House knew about the report revealing the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service — everybody but the president, who maintains he learned about it from watching TV.

By far the most damaging of the stories has to do with the attack on press freedom.

In 2009, Fox News reporter James Rosen got a leak about North Korean policy and ran a story about it. Yesterday, White House press spokesman Jay Carney referred to the aftermath of that single leak nearly four years ago as “an ongoing criminal investigation.”

An ongoing criminal investigation? Into Rosen? Administrations investigate national-security leaks to find the leaker, not to hurl criminal thunderbolts at the reporter. Journalists have found themselves in legal jeopardy, to be sure, but for refusing to name a source in violation of a judge’s order. They are jailed for contempt of court, in other words. They are not punished for seeking or collecting or publishing information.

Until now.

The Obama Justice Department pursued a shocking and outrageous course by seeking and obtaining a warrant to search Rosen’s e-mails, phone calls and even the electronic passes that got him entry into the State Department.

In the request for the warrant, which came out yesterday, the FBI agent investigating the leak said he needed it because there was “probable cause” to believe Rosen had acted as “an aider and abettor and co-conspirator,” a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison!

And how had Rosen aided and abetted and conspired? By communicating with the leaker. By giving him an e-mail address for contact purposes, along with bits of code so Rosen would be able to identify him. By saying he wanted the information ahead of his competition.

The FBI agent said that Rosen had played on the leaker’s “vanity and ego,” and that Rosen had behaved “like an intelligence officer . . . running a clandestine intelligence source.” In other words, Rosen acted like a reporter. And how a reporter interacts with a source as a social matter is, to put it mildly, as far beyond the scope of an acceptable government inquiry as the moons of Jupiter are from the Earth.

Even more startling, the search warrant makes clear that the FBI already had everything it needed on the leaker, as the request for a search warrant features quotes from an interview that were tantamount to a confession. It asked that the warrant be sealed — in other words, that Rosen not be told — because knowledge might “cause subjects to flee”! Imagine it: Rosen, an on-air reporter on a national news channel with a wife and two small kids in DC, seeking refuge in Cuba . . .

The leak merited investigation, and the investigation was successful. So why go after Rosen? We don’t know, but we can speculate that someone was very mad about the leak, and someone wanted to see if there might be a way to take the reporter down by characterizing his work as a conspiracy that might lead him to flee the United States.

At the end of last week, some hopeful Obama-backers in the media were saying the president’s troubles over the past weeks were a blip on the radar. Opined the liberal Pangloss of The Washington Post, Ezra Klein: “The scandals are falling apart.”

Oops.

May 22, 2013 8:53 AM  
Anonymous obama's last defender turns on him said...

The Justice Department's investigation and surveillance of the Associated Press and Fox News have led to perhaps the most sustained wave of criticism for the Obama administration's media policies since the president took office.

On Wednesday, the New York Times became one of the more influential voices to say what many others have been saying: that the administration's methods are an attack on press freedom.

In a scathing editorial, the Times wrote that, "With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible 'co-conspirator' in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news."

The Times editorial described the Obama administration as going "overboard" with its investigations into leaks and threatening press freedom. The board added:

Obama administration officials often talk about the balance between protecting secrets and protecting the constitutional rights of a free press. Accusing a reporter of being a 'co-conspirator,' on top of other zealous and secretive investigations, shows a heavy tilt toward secrecy and insufficient concern about a free press.

The Times editorial was just one in a chorus of hard-hitting attacks on Obama's media policy that have surfaced in the wake of the Justice Department investigations. Journalists were outraged by both the AP and the Rosen cases, particularly the labeling of Rosen as a possible "co-conspirator" in a leak case for the crime of trying to get a source to give up information.

The New Yorker reported on Tuesday that the investigation into Rosen was even broader than previously suspected, as the DOJ seized records from at least five different numbers used by Fox News and two different White House lines.

That followed the Associated Press' revelation that the DOJ had secretly obtained months of phone records for at least seven individual journalists across 20 phone lines while searching for the government official responsible for leaking information about a CIA-thwarted terror plot.

Obama's hyper-aggressive leak policy—and his administration's potential equation of routine journalistic interaction with criminality—is nothing new. But the fury in the pages and on the websites of elite outlets about these positions certainly is.

The Times' criticism echoed that of many other journalists and press freedom groups.

On Tuesday, the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists sent an outraged letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, in which it warned that the DOJ's secret subpoenas for over 20 AP phone lines "represent a damaging setback for press freedom in the United States." This came on the heels of a letter signed by over 50 media outlets which made similar arguments.

Wednesday also saw Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank lash out at Obama:

The Rosen affair is as flagrant an assault on civil liberties as anything done by George W. Bush’s administration, and it uses technology to silence critics in a way Richard Nixon could only have dreamed of.
To treat a reporter as a criminal for doing his job — seeking out information the government doesn’t want made public — deprives Americans of the First Amendment freedom on which all other constitutional rights are based. Guns? Privacy? Due process? Equal protection? If you can’t speak out, you can’t defend those rights, either.

May 22, 2013 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

If this story anonymous cut and pasted about a reporter being threatened with prosecution under the espionage act is true, I find it extremely disturbing. What is the source?

May 22, 2013 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I'll hunt down the Times editorial and read it. The NYT is a reputable source.

May 22, 2013 12:29 PM  
Anonymous truth said...

Robert, this is true, unfortunately. It's what caused the NY Times, who had previously been downplaying these scandals, to desert Obama. You can confirm this from multiple sources.

all hype and partisan bantering aside, I really think the problem is that Obama is one of these individuals the believes the end always justifies the means

all's fair, as long as he wins because he's the only one who can roll back the oceans

his megalomania threatens our way of life

May 22, 2013 1:14 PM  
Anonymous get back said...

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) slammed President Barack Obama in a Wednesday op-ed, calling him "either a liar or a hugely incompetent CEO."

Palin took to Breitbart.com to criticize "the White House's involvement" in the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of tea party groups in the lead-up to the 2012 election, something the former vice presidential hopeful called "the biggest controversy since Watergate."

"The president would like us to believe that he only learned about the IRS corruption from watching the news. But we recently learned that the White House was actively working with the IRS on how to roll out the story of this scandal," Palin said. "So, Mr. President, how can you have your staff work on the roll out of the biggest controversy since Watergate, and yet claim that you only heard about it by watching the news with the rest of us?"

Dan Pfeiffer, a top White House adviser, insisted Obama only learned of the IRS scandal "when it came out in the news." Obama called news of the targeting "outrageous."

"But I have got no patience with it, I will not tolerate it, and we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this," Obama said.

Palin's criticism wasn't just reserved for Obama. She also tore into the IRS, which she said is "the face of intimidating and controlling big government" and "considers you guilty until proven innocent when they audit you."

"This IRS scandal is especially terrible because Americans live in fear of the IRS like no other entity because this monstrous bureaucracy has the power to take your hard-earned money," Palin wrote.

"[The IRS scandal is] tangible proof of how a corrupt government can intimidate and target a person’s record, reputation, and life, and make them feel helpless," Palin continued.

May 22, 2013 1:16 PM  
Anonymous have a nice stonewallin' afternoon!! said...

WASHINGTON -- Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS division under fire for targeting conservative organizations, strongly defended herself in an opening statement before the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee on Wednesday before invoking her Fifth Amendment rights and being dismissed from the room by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

In her opening statement, Lerner said she did not break any any law, rule or regulation. She also said she did not provide false statements to the committee about the IRS' targeting of conservative groups in previous testimony.

"Members of Congress have accused me of providing false information. I have not done anything wrong," Lerner said. "I have not broken any laws. I have not violated IRS rules and regulations and I have not provided false information to this committee."

Lerner, after giving her opening statement, invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

"I will not answer any questions or testify today," she told Issa.

Lerner's answer to a planted question at a May 10 American Bar Association meeting in which she announced that the IRS had inappropriately targeted conservative groups from 2010 through 2012 sparked the current controversy and round of hearings. Her appearance, albeit brief, at the Oversight Committee Wednesday was her first public appearance since the ABA meeting and her first statement in response to the scandal.

May 22, 2013 1:19 PM  
Anonymous gig's up said...

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told reporters on Wednesday that there is a "good chance" House leadership will bring his nationwide 20-week abortion ban to the floor this year for a full vote in light of the Kermit Gosnell trial.

While Franks' bill, which only applied to the District of Columbia the previous times he introduced it, has never been brought to the floor for a vote, he said the Gosnell trial has caused leadership to take it more seriously this year. He argued people are slowly starting to change their minds on abortion after hearing the details of Gosnell's abortion practice, the same way people changed their minds about slavery and the Holocaust.

"What changed people's mind over slavery? What changed their minds over the tragedy in Eastern Europe, the horror in Eastern Europe?" he said. "Those minds did change, and I would suggest that it's because they finally came face to face with the humanity of the victim and the inhumanity of what is being done to them."

"I don't know what this society and this world have lost because of 55 million little American babies dying in the last 40 years," he added, referring to the number of abortions performed in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade was decided. "I don't know. But I would suggest to you that if taking the lives of little innocent children when they're crying-- if that is not wrong, then we have at last arrived. Nothing is wrong."

May 22, 2013 4:54 PM  
Anonymous guess who found monica? said...

This administration’s management of the Obama Internal Revenue Service scandal so far consists of a slow-walking, rolling disclosure of facts; equal parts equivocation, amnesia and indignation from IRS witnesses; deer-in-the-headlights non-responses by the White House press secretary; parsed, lawyerly statements from the president himself; and now one of the central key players is taking the Fifth. And all this comes from what the president claimed would be the “most transparent administration ever…”

If we give the president the benefit of the doubt and assume he knows the truth is going to come out, the question remains: Does the administration appoint the special prosecutor sooner or later? The calculus inside the White House is how to best protect the president’s political interests. They have two options. They could delay the appointment and let more of the story develop, weather the ugly piecemeal disclosures, give the players time to get their stories straight and lawyer-up and hope Republicans continue their overreach, giving the whole affair a nutty partisan patina. Or, they could accelerate the appointment of a special prosecutor, thereby slowing the congressional inquiries and giving Jay Carney some relief from his daily embarrassing routine by supplying him with the escape hatch of not being allowed to comment on matters associated with the special prosecutor’s ongoing investigation. Not to mention, the White House all the while could blast the appointed counsel as a partisan ideologue à la the hatchet job that was done on Ken Starr.

Anyway, if the president is innocent, he will end up needing and wanting a special prosecutor sooner rather than later. If he and his White House already have too much to hide, then they must clam up, cry partisanship and hope their allies on the Hill and in the media have the stamina for the long, hard slog ahead.

My personal favorite of all the new revelations from the Obama IRS scandal is that White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler told White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough about the impending IRS inspector general report, but of course the White House chief of staff did not tell the president.

I sat in a White House chief of staff’s office every day for more than two years. The only reason the legal counsel would tell the chief of staff about an impending report or disclosure would be so the chief of staff could tell the president. The legal counsel would assume the chief of staff would know how and when to bring up the matter. The chief of staff would be expected to know if there were additional factors surrounding the issue that needed to be considered before the president was told, or whether or not others needed to be included in the conversation when the information was shared with the president. There are many valid reasons why the chief of staff would tell the president, but I can’t think of a reason why he and the legal counsel would both agree that this news nugget would go no further. It’s very odd.

The legal counsel would never assume that information shared with the chief of staff would not go to the president. In my experience, a legal counsel never would believe that there was information that was appropriate for the chief of staff to know but that was inappropriate for the president to know. Out of all the news that has emerged regarding the Obama IRS scandal, this is the most curious whopper I’ve heard so far. I can’t wait to hear the real story.

May 22, 2013 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, no matter how many times you say the word scandal, people know there is no scandal. They are sick of being lied to by Fox News and its audience. Look at the polls, Obama is fine, you can post one stupid editorial after another but nobody is listening.

May 22, 2013 7:20 PM  
Anonymous slain with a cane said...

I'm not saying it

I'm copying a multitude of witnesses

Obama was shellacked by the tea Party in 2010

he was out to get them and his lackeys did it for him

he also said repeatedly that he thought the Supreme Court was wrong on Citizens United

he decided to fix it himself

the public watches a lot of TV and assumes the stuff Obama has been happening for years

they will eventually rouse

meanwhile, any of his enemies could die in a flash, at any time

he's watching them on satellite image with a finger on the button

which he'll push, whenever he happens to be feelin' that way without warning

"WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that four American citizens have been killed in drone strikes since 2009 in Pakistan and Yemen. The disclosure to Congress comes on the eve of a major national security speech by President Barack Obama.

In conducting U.S. counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida and its associated forces, the government has targeted and killed one American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, and is aware of the killing by U.S. drones of three others, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy."

May 22, 2013 8:55 PM  
Anonymous unaccountable executive said...

Every day brings new revelations about who knew what about the IRS targeting conservative groups during President Obama's re-election campaign, but the overall impression is of a vast federal bureaucracy run amok. While the White House continues to peddle the story of a driverless train wreck, taxpayers are being treated to a demonstration of the dangers of an unwieldy and unaccountable administrative state. Look, Ma, no hands!

In his press events, Mr. Obama has said that while he learned about the Cincinnati rogues on the news, he plans to "hold accountable those who have taken these outrageous actions." But the White House began its response by pushing the line that the IRS is an "independent agency," and Mr. Obama has since given the impression that he sits atop a federal government which he does not, and could not possibly, control.

White House senior adviser Dan Pfieffer encouraged that fable on this Sunday's news shows, implying that the Treasury's internal process for handling the unfair treatment of political targets trumped the President's right to know. When CNN political correspondent Candy Crowley asked Mr. Pfieffer why the White House and top Treasury officials weren't notified, he explained that Treasury's investigation was ongoing and "Here's the cardinal rule: You do not interfere in an independent investigation."

Now there's a false choice. The Treasury Inspector General's report, for starters, was an audit, not an inviolable independent investigation. He lacked subpoena power and could bring no criminal charges. Having the President know of the IRS's mistakes so that he could act to correct the problem was not a bridge too far or even clouding the purity of the process. Those things could have been done simultaneously without compromising Treasury's investigation.

At Darrell Issa's House oversight hearing on Wednesday, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George was criticized for not notifying Congress of the IRS wrongdoing when he became aware of it in July 2012. Emails between the IG's office and committee staff show the IG's office repeatedly evaded Congressional inquiries on the progress of the investigation.

All IGs appear before Congress, but they are really answerable to the President who is responsible for what goes on in the IRS and what the agency actually does. If the IRS is not operating in a way that treats taxpayers evenhandedly and in accordance with its guidelines and mission, it is up to him to change the personnel and make any other corrections so that the taxing power of the federal government is legal and fair. If that isn't the case, voters deserve to know exactly who is accountable for the decisions of the agency that takes a healthy fraction of their income every year.

May 23, 2013 8:12 AM  
Anonymous unaccountable executive said...

Mr. Obama's lesson in lack of political accountability also seems to be trickling down: Lois Lerner was in charge of the IRS division that discriminated against conservative groups. But rather than take responsibility, Ms. Lerner on Wednesday invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to testify at the House hearing, though not before she read a statement saying that she had "not done anything wrong."

Asked by Texas Senator John Cornyn at a Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday whether he owed conservative groups an apology, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said that he was "certainly not personally responsible for creating a list that had inappropriate criteria on it" though he was sorry that it had happened on his watch.

There's a certain infantilization of the federal government here that should be especially alarming to taxpayers who have ever crossed paths with the IRS. The agency has the power to make citizens lives miserable, ruin their businesses and garnish their wages. Anyone facing an audit is unlikely to get away with the evasions now in display in the federal bureaucracy.

If the scandal is showing anything, it is that the White House has a bizarre notion of accountability in the federal government. President Obama's former senior adviser, David Axelrod, told MSNBC recently that his guy was off the hook on the IRS scandal because "part of being President is there's so much beneath you that you can't know because the government is so vast."

In other words, the bigger the federal government grows, the less the President is responsible for it. Mr. Axelrod's remarkable admission, and the liberal media defenses of Mr. Obama's lack of responsibility, prove the tea party's point that an ever larger government has become all but impossible to govern. They also show once again that liberals are good at promising the blessings of government largesse but they leave its messes for others to clean up.

Alexander Hamilton and America's Founders designed the unitary executive for the purpose of political accountability. It is one of the Constitution's main virtues. Unlike grunts in Cincinnati, Presidents must face the voters. That accountability was designed to extend not only to the President's inner circle but over the entire branch of government whose leaders he chooses and whose policies bear his signature.

If the President isn't accountable, then we really have the tea party nightmare of the runaway administrative state accountable to no one. If Mr. Obama and his aides are to be taken at their word, that is exactly what we have

May 23, 2013 8:13 AM  
Anonymous how stupid does Obama think liberals are? said...

OK, so last week, promised to hold those in the IRS who attacked his enemies accountable.

Then, later said he can't interfere.

Have those lower level employees who supposedly did this on their own been named or suspended from duty?

Remember the first day of Obama's term in 2008?

That's right. The first thing he did was sign an order closing Guantanamo.

The place is still operating, of course.

And today Obama is giving a speech saying basically "give some time here, I'll get to the Guantanamo thing sooner or later"

also, in his speech, he promises to be more transparent about randonmly killing American citizens with robot drones from the sky

anyone here believe him?

"WASHINGTON, May 22 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will lay out the rationale for U.S. drone strikes in a speech on Thursday in an effort to be more transparent about his counterterrorism policy, a White House official said.

Obama has been pressured from both the left and right to allow greater scrutiny of the secret decision-making process for using drones overseas. He said earlier this year he wanted to be more open about how the drone war is conducted.

The U.S. government formally acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that it had killed four Americans using drones.

"He (Obama) will discuss why the use of drone strikes is necessary, legal, and just," the official said.

The speech will coincide with the signing of new "presidential policy guidance" to lay out standards for lethal drone strikes.

Obama will again repeat his pledge to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where foreign terrorism suspects are held, the official said.


May 23, 2013 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is like the whole Gosnell affair

TTF is speechless because they know that what Obama has done is corruption incarnate

May 23, 2013 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I don't think the president should have the right to kill anyone without judicial review. Drone attacks are essentially assassinations, with collateral damage, and should not be a part of national policy.

May 23, 2013 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Robert

Darth Obama and the modern Reign of Terror needs to be stopped

May 23, 2013 11:30 AM  
Anonymous wow!! said...

today, Obama was giving his speech on drones and Guantanamo

a middle-aged woman began heckling him

and our sexist President said "look, young lady"

May 23, 2013 3:21 PM  
Anonymous have a real nice day now, y'hear? said...

when you hear all this stuff about how Obama is either horribly corrupt or terribly incompetent...

when you hear the sky is falling in on him and into a sinkhole on 14th St......

when you hear that he's not saving our embassy personnel in Libya so he can make himself look good and he's killing American with drones...

when you hear that he's calling investigative reporters criminal co-conspirators and extorting money from health insurance companies to pay for Obamacare promotional expenses that Congress won't appropriate...

when he audits Billy Graham because he endorsed Romney and takes years to not close Guantanamo...

remember, last year Newsweek put his picture on cover above a line that said:

FIRST GAY PRESIDENT

May 23, 2013 4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy Scouts Lift the Ban on Openly Gay Members!

May 23, 2013 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BOY SCOUTS APPROVE PLAN TO ACCEPT OPENLY GAY BOYS

GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America's National Council has voted to ease a long-standing ban and allow openly gay boys to be accepted as Scouts.

Of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal.

Under the proposal drafted by the Scouts' governing board, gay adults will remain barred from serving as Scout leaders.

The outcome is unlikely to end a bitter debate over the Scouts' membership policy.

Some conservative churches that sponsor Scout units wanted to continue excluding gay youths, in some cases threatening to defect if the ban were lifted. More liberal Scout leaders — while supporting the proposal to accept gay youth — have made clear they want the ban on gay adults lifted as well.

May 23, 2013 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Bipartisan Boy said...

(CBS News) Court documents released this week show the Obama administration secretly monitored a Washington journalist. In seeking a search warrant, the FBI called Fox News' James Rosen a "criminal co-conspirator," even though he isn't charged with any crime.


These revelations have set off a firestorm of criticism from the left and right, CBS News' Jan Crawford reports. For the first time ever, a presidential administration is treating news reporting like a crime, and a reporter like a criminal suspect.


Rosen vowed on Wednesday night to protect his source for a scoop he got back in 2009, reporting then that North Korea would respond to sanctions with more nuclear tests.


But the information was classified, and the FBI launched an investigation to uncover Rosen's source that quickly focused on Rosen himself.



The level of government surveillance of a reporter was unprecedented. Agents monitored Rosen's movements in and out of the State Department. They searched his personal emails and combed through his cell phone records.


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has deflected questions on the case. CBS News' Major Garrett asked Carney on May 20, "The subpoena says James Rosen is a potential criminal because he's a reporter. Is the White House comfortable with that standard never before seen in a leak investigation?"


Carney said, "It's part of an ongoing criminal investigation, Major, and I simply can't comment on it."



But the investigation into Rosen has sparked a rare thing in Washington: bipartisan outrage over what some are calling "Obama's war on journalism."


Just last week, the Justice Department came under fire for seizing two months of phone records from the Associated Press -- action the president defended on national security grounds. President Obama said at a press conference last week, "I don't think the American people would expect me as commander-in-chief not to be concerned about information that might compromise their missions or might get them killed."



Critics say the administration has gone too far and that the Rosen investigation is more an effort to control information that's available to the public.


Michael Mukasey, who served as attorney general under President George W. Bush, told CBS News recently, referring to Rosen, "You couldn't claim with a straight face that disclosing whatever he disclosed in that story threatened the national security of the United States."



He continued, "Something like this which intimidates both the reporter involved who has been designated a defendant or potential defendant and anybody who would talk to him, makes it a whole lot easier in the future for the government to control the narrative."


Crawford added on "CBS This Morning," "Now, of course, media critics (including) the American Civil Liberties Union say no presidential administration -- not even the Nixon administration -- went after reporters with search warrants and secret surveillance, and journalists I'm talking to in Washington ... are saying they are seeing the impact of this, that their sources and whistleblowers -- those people who can be so important in bringing out information to the public that the government may obviously want to keep secret -- that they're afraid to talk, that they're staying silent. And that, they say, could be the real impact of this. If the administration kind of intimidates people into not coming forward, people stay silent and the administration gets to control the information and the story."

May 24, 2013 7:01 AM  
Anonymous Obama's revenge on FOX said...

Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday.

The disclosure of the attorney general’s role came as President Barack Obama, in a major speech on his counterterrorism policy, said Holder had agreed to review Justice Department guidelines governing investigations that involve journalists.

Rosen, who has not been charged in the case, was nonetheless the target of a search warrant that enabled Justice Department investigators to secretly seize his private emails after an FBI agent said he had "asked, solicited and encouraged … (a source) to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information."

Obama's comments follow a firestorm of criticism that has erupted over disclosures that in separate investigations of leaks of classified information, the Justice Department had obtained private emails that Rosen exchanged with a source and the phone records of Associated Press reporters.

Holder previously said he recused himself from the AP subpoena because he had been questioned as a witness in the underlying investigation into a leak about a foiled bomb plot in Yemen. His role in personally approving the Rosen search warrant had not been previously reported.

A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Department of Justice later issued a statement about the review of media guidelines: “This review is consistent with Attorney General Holder's long-standing belief that leaks of classified information damage our national security and must be investigated using appropriate law enforcement tools. We remain steadfast in our commitment to following all laws and regulations intended to safeguard national security."

May 24, 2013 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Obama's revenge on FOX said...

The law enforcement official said Holder's approval of the Rosen search, in the spring of 2010, came after senior Justice officials concluded there was "probable cause" that Rosen's communications with his source, identified as intelligence analyst Stephen Kim, met the legal burden for such searches. "It was approved at the highest levels-- and I mean the highest," said the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said that included Holder.

Kim has since been indicted on charges that he leaked classified information to Rosen about how North Korea would respond to a United Nations resolution condemning the country's nuclear program. He has denied the charges.

In an affidavit in support of a search warrant to Google for Rosen's emails, an FBI agent wrote that the Fox News journalist -- identified only as "the Reporter" -- had "asked, solicited and encouraged Mr. Kim to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information."

"The Reporter did so by employing flattery and playing to Mr. Kim's vanity and ego,” it continued. “Much like an intelligence officer would run a clandestine intelligence source, the Reporter instructed Mr. Kim on a covert communications plan that involved" emails from his gmail account.

The affidavit states that FBI agents had tracked Rosen’s entrances and exits of the State Department in order to show that they had coincided with Kim’s movements. Based on that and other findings, the affidavit by FBI Agent Reginald B. Reyes, stated, “There is probable cause to believe that the Reporter has committed a violation” of the Espionage Act “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator of Mr. Kim.”

It also said that Google was specifically instructed not to notify “the subscriber” -- Rosen -- that his emails were being seized.

Justice officials have since said they do not intend to criminally charge Rosen, but media groups have condemned the issuance of the search warrant itself.

"The Justice Department's decision to treat routine newsgathering efforts as evidence of criminality is extremely troubling and corrodes time-honored understandings between the public and the government about the role of the free press," said Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

In his speech Thursday, Obama reiterated his determination to pursue leak investigations. "We must enforce consequences for those who break the law and breach their commitment to protect classified information," he said.

May 24, 2013 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Hooray for the Boy Scouts! Full inclusion and equality will come.

May 24, 2013 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama's DOJ is out to stop leaks, unlike the Bush Administration who let Scotter Libby take the fall for Cheney's leaks, blowing CIA operative, Valerie Plame's cover in an effort to discredit her husband, Joseph Wilson, a critic of the Iraq war.

May 24, 2013 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

today, Obama was giving his speech on drones and Guantanamo

a middle-aged woman began heckling him

and our sexist President said "look, young lady"


The President said no such thing.

You are a lying liar.

That "middle-aged woman" is a co-founder of the pro-peace group, CODEPINKWOMENFORPEACE.

After her multiple interruptions, President Obama went off script and said, “the voice of that woman is worth paying attention to."

Here is CODEPINK's press release about her comments.

"CODEPINK ACTIVIST MEDEA BENJAMIN SPEAKS OUT DURING PRESIDENT’S FOREIGN POLICY SPEECH AT NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 23, 2013

Contact:
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK Co-founder, 310.920.8248, medea@codepink.org
Alli McCracken, CODEPINK National Coordinator, 860.575.5692 Alli@codepink.org
(Benjamin is now available for interviews. Call Dooler Campbell from the CODEPINK to schedule one: 404-322-8236)

CODEPINK ACTIVIST MEDEA BENJAMIN SPEAKS OUT DURING PRESIDENT’S FOREIGN POLICY SPEECH AT NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY

Washington, DC--While President Obama was delivering remarks about American foreign policy pertaining to the administration's drone program and practices of indefinite detention at Guantanamo bay, CODEPINK Co-founder, Medea Benjamin, stood up and spoke out several times. She called on the President to use his power as Commander-In-Chief to close Guantanamo prison, release the 86 Guantanamo prisoners who have been cleared for release, and stop the killer drone program that is causing the deaths of innocent civilians, violating international law, and making us less safe here in America. The President responded to her comments by remarking, “the voice of that woman is worth paying attention to.”

“Will you compensate the families of innocent victims?” is one of the questions Benjamin asked. See the full YouTube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTvoCzhcHJU&feature=em-upload_owner

When asked why she spoke out during the President’s speech, Medea Benjamin responded, “We have been so disappointed with Obama; we expected him to to make serious changes like taking drones out of the hands of the CIA, stopping the signature strikes, apologizing to innocents who have been killed, families of the innocent, and announcing that he, as Commander-in-Chief, would close Guantanamo, so when he did not I felt compelled to speak out.”

CODEPINK has launched an urgent call to save the lives of the prisoners on hunger strike in Guantanamo and has been staging actions across DC for the last several weeks. Over 1,200 people from around the world have joined a rolling hunger strike. Diane Wilson, a CODEPINK activists from Texas, has been on a water-only hunger strike since May 1st. CODEPINK is also organizing a delegation to Yemen in June to meet with drone victims and families of Guantanamo prisoners. CODEPINK also has launched an anti-drone campaign and more information about that can be found at droneswatch.org."

May 24, 2013 12:27 PM  
Anonymous roger ailes rallies FOX to resist repression said...

Dear colleagues,

The recent news about the FBI’s seizure of the phone and email records of Fox News employees, including James Rosen, calls into question whether the federal government is meeting its constitutional obligation to preserve and protect a free press in the United States. We reject the government's efforts to criminalize the pursuit of investigative journalism and falsely characterize a Fox News reporter to a Federal judge as a "co-conspirator" in a crime. I know how concerned you are because so many of you have asked me: why should the government make me afraid to use a work phone or email account to gather news or even call a friend or family member? Well, they shouldn’t have done it. The administration’s attempt to intimidate Fox News and its employees will not succeed and their excuses will stand neither the test of law, the test of decency, nor the test of time. We will not allow a climate of press intimidation, unseen since the McCarthy era, to frighten any of us away from the truth.

I am proud of your tireless effort to report the news over the last 17 years. I stand with you, I support you and I thank you for your reporting with courageous optimism. Too many Americans fought and died to protect our unique American right of press freedom. We can’t and we won’t forget that. To be an American journalist is not only a great responsibility, but also a great honor. To be a Fox journalist is a high honor, not a high crime. Even this memo of support will cause some to demonize us and try to find irrelevant things to cause us to waver. We will not waver.

As Fox News employees, we sometimes are forced to stand alone, but even then when we know we are reporting what is true and what is right, we stand proud and fearless. Thank you for your hard work and all your efforts.

Sincerely,

Roger Ailes

May 24, 2013 12:45 PM  
Anonymous why does TTF lie? said...

America is at a "crossroads" in its efforts to combat militancy, Mr Obama.

Human rights groups have long condemned the use of unmanned drones to carry out killings.

As the president addressed efforts to close the detention centre at the US base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he was interrupted by a protester shouting about the current hunger strike at the prison.

"I'm willing to cut the young lady who interrupted me," he said.

May 24, 2013 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I bet if a church were to withdraw sponsorship of the Boy Scouts, that the troop in question would find another sponsor.

rrjr

May 24, 2013 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You cite no source for your lying partial, but slightly larger quote.

Here's the actual full quote of what the President said, and a source for it.

“I’m willing to cut the young lady who interrupted me some slack, because it’s worth being passionate about.”
-- from Medea Benjamin, the Woman Who Heckled Obama, Is Not Sorry

Ms. Benjamin did not find the President's comment to be "sexist." You did that all by yourself, honey.

Ms. Benjamin said, “It was funny that President Obama called me a young lady because I’m older than he is,” Benjamin said in an interview after the kerfuffle. “I grew up in the days of the Vietnam War, and recognized at an early age that we as citizens have to do more to stop our government from getting in overseas interventions that were unjust and lead to the deaths of so many of our soldiers as well.”

Benjamin said she was glad to be able to to speak, and that she wasn’t “beaten up and tortured, or thrown in prison.” But she said she had hoped she wouldn’t have to speak up at all, that the president would have announced in his address that said he was shutting down Guantánamo immediately....

Benjamin is also a co-founder of Code Pink, a women-initiated grassroots organization working toward social justice and ending the overseas wars. She ran for the California Senate in 2000 as the Green Party candidate. In 2005, she was one of 1,000 women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She also was honored in 2010 by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a U.S. interfaith peace organization, with the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize. She previously worked as an economist and a nutritionist with the World Health Organization. She is the author of eight books, including 2010’s Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.

All of those are lovely achievements, of course, but Benjamin is perhaps best known in Washington as someone who speaks her mind, even when she’s not invited to do so. Most recently, in December, shortly after the Newtown shootings, Benjamin managed to interrupt a press conference by National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, carrying a sign declaring “NRA Blood on Your Hands.”

Called a serial protester by some, Benjamin also was a scourge of the Bush administration as well. In 2002, she protested as then–secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testified on Capitol Hill about Iraq, and she was removed from the House gallery in 2006 when she interrupted a speech by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. At the Republican National Convention in Tampa in 2012, she held up signs calling former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a “war criminal.”

In 2007, she was part of a delegation that marched to the gate at the Cuban site of Guantánamo prison, a trip she will be making again soon with Code Pink. Benjamin said the organization is also planning a trip to Yemen, to meet with the families of some of the prisoners of Guantánamo, and one of her colleagues is also on a hunger strike to protest the detention facility.

As for Thursday’s interruption, Benjamin was not ruffled at all by being thrown out of the president’s speech. If she had the chance to finish, she says she would have inquired about why the U.S. keeps overseas bases in countries like Saudi Arabia, which she says are making the country “less safe.” And she also would have “given a shoutout” to Bradley Manning, the detained former soldier accused of sending classified military intelligence to WikiLeaks. “It would have been nice to thank him in that kind of venue,” Benjamin said.

May 24, 2013 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOUR FIRST LIE ABOUT WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID:

"look, young lady"

YOUR SECOND LIE ABOUT WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID:

"I'm willing to cut the young lady who interrupted me,"

TRUTH OF WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID:

“I’m willing to cut the young lady who interrupted me some slack, because it’s worth being passionate about.”

AND

“the voice of that woman is worth paying attention to."

May 24, 2013 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cuccinelli-Jackson: Too Extreme for Virginia

"...Instead of promoting their new ticket, Republicans have answered for Jackson’s once calling gays “perverted” and “sick” and saying Planned Parenthood has been “far more lethal” to blacks “than the KKK.”

“The Republicans I’m talking to are saying, ‘What the hell are they doing in Virginia?’ ” said Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee. “Is this, ‘101 ways to lose an election’? You’re coming out of the gate with comments everyone has to explain. You’re wasting a lot of time and energy batting that back when you should be doing other things to get the guy known.”..."

May 24, 2013 1:52 PM  
Anonymous have a great holiday weekend!! said...

Top IRS officials, whose agency was under investigation for targeting conservative groups, visited the Obama White House more than 100 times over two years while the probe was going on, far more often than in previous administrations and frequently enough that Republicans suspect White House officials knew about the targeting.

Lawmakers now investigating the Internal Revenue Service practice zeroed in on those nearly weekly White House meetings to determine whether an IRS official — or someone higher up in the administration — had approved the targeting and whether it was politically motivated.

The frequent meetings also raised questions about the White House's claims that it couldn't have instigated the targeting of conservative groups because it took a hands-off approach to the tax agency, going so far as to describe it as independent of the administration even though it's part of the Treasury Department.

"The IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity and people have to have confidence that they're applying the laws in a nonpartisan way," President Obama said shortly after the targeting became public earlier this month.

Former Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman visited the White House 118 times between 2010 and 2011. Acting Director Steven Miller, who took over at the IRS in November, also made numerous visits to the White House, though variations in the spelling of his name in White House visitor logs makes it difficult to determine exactly how many times.

The frequent trips to the White House under Obama far outnumbered the times other administrations felt the need to meet with the IRS, according to Mark Everson, who led the IRS under former President George W. Bush. Everson said he remembers making only one trip to the White House between 2003 and 2007 and said he felt like he'd "moved to Siberia" because of the isolation.

"I fear the IRS is on a slippery slope as regards its traditional independence," Everson said.

Shulman said he couldn't remember why he went to the White House so frequently, he told a congressional committee.

"The IRS has a major role in the money flow," Shulman explained to Congress.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Shulman's frequent visits make it hard to believe that the IRS and White House never talked about the investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups, which was going on at the time — something the White House vigorously denies.

"In my view," Issa said, "it's hard to believe it didn't come up."

May 25, 2013 8:48 AM  
Anonymous have a wonderfully sunny day!!!! said...

"Jackson’s once calling gays “perverted” and “sick”"

oh, most Americans would have agreed with that not long ago

now, most still agree but the new prevailing wisdom is that it's better left unsaid

America simply want homosexuals to shut up and are willing to look away if that will make that happen

doesn't mean they endorse the fairy tale that homosexuality is normal nor will they not vote for someone who states the obvious

May 25, 2013 9:32 AM  
Blogger Patrick Fitzgerald said...

"Obama is one of these individuals the believes the end always justifies the means … all's fair, as long as he wins … his megalomania threatens our way of life"

-Were you even alive during the Bush administration?:

-An unnecessary, illegal, immoral 3 trillion dollar unfunded war.
-The "Patriot Act."
-Unwarranted warrantless searches.
-The outing of a terrorist-intelligence-gathering CIA agent because her husband exposed the Nigerian "Yellow Cake" Iraq War talking point as baseless propaganda.
-9/11 -- on their watch -- to justify the whole thing.
-No bid contracts?!?
-Unfunded tax breaks.
-Financial aid denied to veterans and children at every turn, and on and on and on.
-
I remember Marsha Blackburn (R)TN, on the house floor "Reasoning" that the cuts were perfectly ethical because "People on welfare don‘t want to be on welfare because they want ‘Big Government’ out of their lives."

Say what you will about Obama, I will agree with you on MUCH of it, but if you want to be taken seriously (to put it politely), then you’ve got to acknowledge and take responsibility for your support of the constitutionally catastrophic, unprecidented spread of social injustice and tanking of the economy that were the direct result of the eight years before he took office.
--
"meanwhile, any of his enemies could die in a flash, at any time … he's watching them on satellite image with a finger on the button … which he'll push, whenever he happens to be feelin' that way without warning"

-But the four thousand Americans who died in vain as well as the tens of thousands who were injured in vain and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who were killed, maimed, displaced and handed every other atrocity the Bush Administration had to offer never phased you?
--
"TTF is speechless because they know that what Obama has done is corruption incarnate"

-Speechlessness is just a symptom of the state of shock we go into after reading the things you say.
--
Robert said: "Hooray for the Boy Scouts! Full inclusion and equality will come."

-But not for Scout leaders, you basically get kicked out when you turn eighteen. I’m looking forward to the press reports on that dynamic.
--
-And to pre-empt (for ye lovers of hate), it’s the emotionally crippled family men in the closet who’ve suppressed their orientation their entire lives who are the most dangerous.

Unlike them, those who are and have been openly gay, out, about, proud, confident and self-accepting are, overwhelmingly speaking, not emotionally stunted--and thus, naturally resistant (if not oblivious) to any inclination to molest.

Those principles apply to hetero or homo.

May 25, 2013 10:01 AM  
Blogger Patrick Fitzgerald said...

"America simply want homosexuals to shut up and are willing to look away if that will make that happen"

Well played passive aggression.

May 25, 2013 10:11 AM  
Anonymous take this blog and shove it!! said...

Patrick, no time for banter today, but I must say that, scarily enough, I'm actually starting to understand your comments

I guess the brain damage is not irreversible after all

all you need now is some manners and you'll be another Robert

May 25, 2013 11:49 AM  
Blogger Patrick Fitzgerald said...

"Patrick, … I'm actually starting to understand your comments … I guess the brain damage is not irreversible after all"

May 25, 2013 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Patrick's right: openly gay men (the "radical gay activists") are not a threat to anyone, for two reasons: 1)people who live honest lives don't hurt other people; and 2)we, like Caesar's wife, must be above suspicion, and are more cautious in interacting with children.

May 25, 2013 3:59 PM  
Anonymous even more appropriate said...

take this blog and shove it, I’m actually starting to think you’re sincere. I guess it’s not fair to judge you by everything you’ve ever said.

May 27, 2013 3:26 AM  
Anonymous oui oui said...

PARIS -- Hundreds of thousands of people protested against France's new gay marriage law in central Paris on Sunday, and police clashed with pro-family demonstrators.

The law came into force over a week ago, but organizers decided to go ahead with the long-planned demonstration to show their continued opposition as well as their frustration with President Francois Hollande, who had made legalizing gay marriage one of his keynote campaign pledges in last year's election.

Marchers set off from three separate points across Paris, and by early evening they filled the Invalides esplanade just across the Seine River from the Champs Elysees.

As night fell, protesters clashed with police, throwing bottles and chasing journalists.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said police had arrested around 100protesters who refused to leave following the end of the demonstration.

Meanwhile, in southern France, the 66th Cannes Film Festival gave the Palm d'Or, its top honor, to "Blue is the Warmest Color: The Life of Adele," a French film about a tender, sensual lesbian romance.

March organizers said more than a million people took part in the demonstration in Paris.

A similar protest in March drew about 300,000.

May 27, 2013 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"President Francois Hollande, who had made legalizing gay marriage one of his keynote campaign pledges in last year's election."

It had been 17 years since a Socialist won a Presidential election in France. Seventeen long and seemingly interminable years of political stagnation.

Hollande does not have the political animus or instincts of Nicolas Sarkozy. His appearance resembles that of a provincial town clerk, not of someone from De Gaulle. Equally, he has neither DSK’s charisma nor Mitterrand’s politicking skills. But he was the candidate to beat Sarkozy.

Where the incumbent President divided, Hollande sought to unify. Where Sarkozy was a micro-manager with a combative personality, Hollande delegated expertly and never lost his cool.

The majority of French voters elected him to replace Sarkozy, after the rift Sarkozy's non-support of same sex marriage caused within his own party in 2011:

"French lawmakers are for the first time debating a bill to legalise homosexual marriage. Though the bill is expected to fail, the controversial issue could yet haunt the ruling UMP party in next year's presidential race.
By Joseph BAMAT (text)

France’s National Assembly debated for its first time the issue of homosexual marriages on Thursday. A vote next week is expected to shoot down a move to legalise same-sex weddings, but the opposition Socialist Party is threatening to turn the issue into a major campaign topic during next year’s presidential race.

The bill to legalise marriage for homosexual couples in France was introduced by Patrick Bloche, a Socialist member of parliament for Paris, after France’s constitutional court ruled in January that the existing ban on gay marriages was not unconstitutional. While the political left has unanimously rallied behind the bill, the debate in parliament has also helped highlight some divisions in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party.

UMP member Claude Bodin denounced a bill that he said was meant to stir controversy before the 2012 presidential election. He called Bloche’s text a “response to communitarian demands” and added that homosexuality was a “private issue, which cannot become a standard like any other".

But breaking with the majority of their party, a handful of UMP members spoke in favour of the law and said they would vote for it. Franck Reister was cheered by the opposition when he asked: “To offer two persons who love each other the opportunity to unite under the same contract, whatever their sexual orientation, is this not in accordance with our republican tradition?”"

May 27, 2013 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Sir Laugh-a-lot said...

you knew it was coming

here it is

the REAL IRS scandal:

One IRS commissioner visited Obama's White House 118 times in 2010 and 2011. His successor also dropped in often. But under George W. Bush, the tax chief visited once in four years. Time for an audit.

Ex-commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service Douglas Shulman went to the White House some 118 times in 2010 and 2011, while Steven Miller, the acting director who took over from Shulman last November, himself made numerous trips there, White House visitor logs show.

Business as usual for one of the most powerful arms of the federal government, you might think. Not so.

Mark Everson, who ran the IRS during most of the George W. Bush administration, from 2003 to 2007, apparently visited a single time.

The alibi the White House has wedded itself to is that it had to work closely with the IRS to implement ObamaCare. But House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., says "it's hard to believe" the IRS' abusive targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups did not enter into the conversations that took place at these meetings, at least "in passing."

But the Bush administration actually did some IRS revamping during its tenure, to "provide IRS with the modern tools needed both to deliver first-class customer service to America's taxpayers and to ensure that compliance programs are administered efficiently," with one of the major goals being to address "the drop in customer service ... over the past several years."

Yet that didn't seem to require the IRS commissioner to scurry to the West Wing more than 100 times, or anything close to it.

The managerial post of IRS commissioner coming over to the White House once a week on average might make sense if President Obama had been planning a big tax code restructuring. But that was not the case, and Obama's sole interest in the tax code has been to raise rates on high earners.

Shulman admits he knew by spring 2012 that the IRS was targeting conservative groups.

Is it really believable that someone who had a Wall Street career before coming to Washington five years ago was so politically naive that he didn't see the potential for scandal in that information and give the White House a heads-up? And that no White House staffer then passed it on to the president?

Then again, Shulman is the same guy who, with a straight face, answered Congress' questions about the 118 visits with the alibi that he visited the White House to attend "the Easter Egg Roll, with my kids."

That's a lot of Easter Eggs — but not a lot of credibility.

There is a lot the American public do not yet know about communications between the White House and IRS. The integrity of free government demands a full, serious investigation.

May 29, 2013 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Sir Laugh-a-lot said...

think about this

when you're not buzzed:

On Tuesday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed several historic measures to implement marijuana legalization in the state, establishing Colorado as the world's first legal, regulated and taxed marijuana market for adults.

"Recreational marijuana really is new territory," Hickenlooper said at Tuesday's signing. He called today's pot bills "common sense," the AP's Kristen Wyatt reported.

Jack Finlaw, Hickenlooper's chief legal counsel, "the will of the voters needed to be implemented."

"We applaud Gov. Hickenlooper for the initiative he has taken to ensure the world's first legal marijuana market for adults will entail a robust and comprehensive regulatory system" said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as an official proponent of Amendment 64 and co-director of the campaign in Colorado. "This marks another major milestone in the process of making the much-needed transition from a failed policy of marijuana prohibition to a more sensible system of regulation."

May 29, 2013 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a great foot soldier for the GOP, Anon!

Study: Media Fact-Checker Says Republicans Lie More

"A leading media fact-checking organization rates Republicans as less trustworthy than Democrats, according to a new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University. The study finds that PolitiFact.com has rated Republican claims as false three times as often as Democratic claims during President Obama’s second term. Republicans continue to get worse marks in recent weeks, despite controversies over Obama administration statements on Benghazi, the IRS and the AP.

According to CMPA President Dr Robert Lichter, “While Republicans see a credibility gap in the Obama administration, PolitiFact rates Republicans as the less credible party.”

The study examined 100 statements involving factual claims by Democrats (46 claims) and Republicans (54 claims), which were fact-checked by PolitiFact.com during the four month period from the start of President Obama’s second term on January 20 through May 22, 2013.

Major findings:

PolitiFact rated 32% of Republican claims as “false” or “pants on fire,” compared to 11% of Democratic claims – a 3 to 1 margin. Conversely, Politifact rated 22% of Democratic claims as “entirely true” compared to 11% of Republican claims – a 2 to 1 margin.

A majority of Democratic statements (54%) were rated as mostly or entirely true, compared to only 18% of Republican statements. Conversely, a majority of Republican statements (52%) were rated as mostly or entirely false, compared to only 24% of Democratic statements.

Despite controversies over Obama administration statements regarding Benghazi, the IRS and the Associated Press, Republicans have continued to fare worse than Democrats, with 60% of their claims rated as false so far this month (May 1 – May 22), compared to 29% of Democratic statements – a 2 to 1 margin."...

May 30, 2013 9:00 AM  
Anonymous How soon they forget said...

"Senate Democrat blasts tax rebate letter
June 19, 2001

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Senate Democrat on Tuesday criticized a letter the Internal Revenue Service will send to taxpayers ahead of a tax rebate check as "political rhetoric."

The letter informs taxpayers they will receive a rebate check this summer as part of the recently passed tax cut -- and credits Congress and President Bush for the windfall.

"This letter is imbued with political rhetoric," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said at a Capitol Hill news conference. "And it leads to the inevitable conclusion that its purpose was not informative but rather, political. It risks harming the reputation of the IRS, sets an unfortunate precedent, and wastes millions of dollars."..."


You didn't forget this one too, did you?

"Dear Taxpayer: This letter cost you $42 million
March 7, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — At a cost of nearly $42 million, the IRS wants you to know: Your check is almost in the mail.

The Internal Revenue Service is spending the money on letters to alert taxpayers to expect rebate checks as part of the economic stimulus plan.

The notices are going out this month to an estimated 130 million households who filed returns for the 2006 tax year, at a cost $41.8 million, IRS spokesman John Lipold confirmed.

That works out to about 32 cents to print, process and mail each letter. It doesn't include the tab for another round of mailings planned for those who didn't file tax returns last year but may still qualify for a rebate.

Democrats accused the Bush administration of wasting time and postage.

"There are countless better uses for $42 million than a self-congratulatory mailer that gives the president a pat on the back for an idea that wasn't even his," Sen. Charles Schumer said Friday, arguing the IRS could more effectively spend the money to catch tax cheats.

The IRS spokesman declined to comment on Schumer's criticism.

"Dear Taxpayer," the letters will begin, going on to say the IRS is pleased to inform the recipient that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law a plan that will provide payments of up to $600 for individuals who qualify or $1,200 for married couples filing jointly. The rebates are the centerpiece of a $168 billion economic stimulus package.

The actual rebate checks are scheduled to go out starting in May, after the IRS has finished separately mailing out routine refunds for the 2007 tax year.

The letters will be a reminder that people need to file a 2007 tax return so they will receive the rebate if they are eligible for it...."


Ah, yes, the Good Old Party days of free GOP advertising at tax payer expense!

May 30, 2013 9:16 AM  
Anonymous as the sad truth dawns on TTF said...

according to Quinnipiac today, 73% of Americans want a special prosecutor named to investigate if Obama used the IRS to target political opponents

his approval rating has dropped to 45% and most Americans don't trust him or Holder

May 30, 2013 7:29 PM  
Anonymous that's right...the sad truth said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 30, 2013 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The revelation that Acting IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman visited the White House at least 157 times during the period in which conservative groups were being targeted with tax audits gives us the first real indication of the extent to which this scandal reaches into the White House.

The incredible frequency of the White House visits -- essentially weekly -- indicate that Obama must have been deeply involved with the inner workings of the audits and harassment of conservative groups. If Schulman was in the White House every week, what was he there to talk about?

Not ObamaCare. Not without having HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in attendance, you wouldn't. About Treasury issues? Deficit reduction? Not without Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

The obvious reason is that Obama was following the IRS audits with an obsessive, personal involvement. Apparently, the Citizens United scandal so galvanized him into action and tapped so deeply into his psyche that he was determined personally to supervise the castration of the wealthy people and groups whose access to the political system was opened wide by the Court.

To see a man who held a subordinate, non-policy making position 157 times, you have to be a president on a mission.

It transforms one's sense of the scandal from a rogue agency to a rogue president using the agency as his personal instrument. An instrument of vengeance, or self-defense, and of political influence.

Nixon was doomed when we all realized that the paranoia of the man had infected his entire administration. When Chuck Colson led the plumbers unit to investigate leaks and to use the IRS to terrify and intimidate his enemies, we realized that he was operating as Nixon's man doing Nixon's bidding based on the needs of Nixon's psyche.

No we realize that the IRS audits and the harassment of conservative groups went very very deep in Obama's priority system. This scandal will destroy him.

Or, as the Greeks said in ancient times: "Those whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad with power."


would you guys still vote for him ... again ?
you know, I think I need to give out this site to folks who are conservative, to make this an even discussion and not just Anon and me. I do appreciate that Jim is pretty free form (well what else would you expect from a dedicated lib).

Theresa

May 30, 2013 10:25 PM  
Anonymous the dimming of TTF said...

"Apparently, the Citizens United scandal so galvanized him into action"

Theresa hits it right on the head here

when the prosecutor looks for a motive, this is it

Obama believed CU was an unconstitutional ruling and rationalized a justification for violating the rights of citizens

someone shined the mirror of free speech in his eyes and went crazy

he was deeply worried after his "shellacking" in 2010 and was desperate to fight back with the power he thought he had the right to use in order to combat the Tea Party

this is all going to make a for a great episode of House of Cards next season

May 30, 2013 10:36 PM  
Anonymous The Right is Wrong said...

I love that "the obvious reason" thing. Of course, the President of the United States is monitoring the behavior of low-level office workers in Cincinnati. It's obvious, why else would the Director of a major agency meet with his boss once a week?

May 30, 2013 10:38 PM  
Anonymous we won't get fooled again!! said...

you have to actually keep up with the story

the idea that only a few lower-level employees in Cincinnati were involved has long ago been dismissed

these hypothetical employees have never been identified and similar actions were taken by several IRS offices and letters were signed by higher-ups

it has been established that the practice continued after the Head of the IRS division for tax exempts knew about it

she has taken the Fifth and been placed on leave

meanwhile, a liberal political advocacy group in New York has admitted that they published confidential names of donors and there source was the IRS

worse, there are credible accounts of personal audits of donors to Tea Party groups, who had the temerity to "shellack" Sir Barack

additionally, the White House has been wiretapping reporters indiscriminately and threatening criminal prosecution of reporters that had the affrontery to embarrass his excellency, the President

and the Attorney General has lied about it to Congress and is trying to arrange a behind-doors meeting with reporters to negotiate their right of free speech

and did we mention that while furloughing Federal employees, Obama has continued to around the country at enormous expense to the taxpayers for fundraisers with rich folk?

the amount he's spent on Air Force One expenses and security for a recent Chicago trip to attend a fundraising banquet would cover White House tours for a year

May 30, 2013 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lies, lies and more lies.

Keep spitting them out, you Faux News Foot Soldiers, Theresa and Anon!

However, it's time to teach some facts!

"...a quick history lesson seems vital. For those who have forgottten or don’t know, Watergate is the name of an apartment complex near the Potomac River in northwest Washington, D.C., where then-President Nixon’s henchmen staged a “third-rate burglary” of the Democratic National Committee headquarters on a June night in 1972.

But Watergate came to stand for a vast agglomeration of gangster conspiracies based in the Nixon White House but spanning the nation. Watergate was a series of burglaries, warrantless domestic wiretaps, illegal spying, campaign dirty tricks, election tampering, money laundering, and assorted thuggish schemes conceived by a large and lawless gang whose leaders included G. Gordon Liddy and the late E. Howard Hunt.

And Watergate grew into a cover-up of those initial felonies with still more felonies, committed by lawyers and bureaucrats who collected cash payoffs from major corporations and then handed out hush money and secret campaign slush funds.

Eventually, Watergate implicated scores of perpetrators, from the right-wing Cuban footsoldiers all the way up to the president, his closest advisors, and his crooked stooges at the highest levels of the Justice Department, the FBI, and the CIA.

Again then, in what sense is the Benghazi tragedy – thoroughly investigated by an independent board, as provided by law – akin to Watergate? How is the IRS effort to vet the tax exemptions of Tea Party groups, which were violating their status brazenly, similar to Nixon’s criminal abuse of the agency to punish his enemies with audits? What makes the Justice Department probe of national security leaks, conducted with valid subpoenas, resemble the secret Nixon White House war against “enemies” in the press, which went so far as trumped-up FCC license challenges and even threats of violence against the Washington Post?

The answers are fairly obvious: None. Not at all. Nothing whatsoever.

And so far as we know, Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t rung up any Fox News reporter drunkenly at midnight to warn that Roger Ailes is “going to get his tit caught in a big, fat wringer.” But if and when that ever happens, the chance to roll out the Watergate clichés will arrive at last — starting with “Nixonian.”"

May 31, 2013 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Watergate Watershed: A Turning Point for a Nation and a Newspaper

By Katharine Graham
Tuesday, January 28, 1997; Page D01


Excerpt:

"...from the beginning, Nixon began making threats of economic retaliation against the paper. "The Post is going to have damnable, damnable problems out of this one. They have a television station . . . and they're going to have to get it renewed. . . . [T]he game has to be played awfully rough." Of our lawyer, Nixon said, "I wouldn't want to be in Edward Bennett Williams's position after this election. We are going to fix the son of a bitch, believe me."

Two weeks later, a seminal Bernstein and Woodward article appeared on Page 1 of The Post. They had dug up information that there was a secret fund at CRP that was controlled by five people, one of whom was then-Attorney General John Mitchell, and which was to be used to gather intelligence on the Democrats. Thus the story reached a new level.

In an effort to check it out, Bernstein called Mitchell directly, reaching him at a hotel in New York, where Mitchell answered the phone himself. When Carl told him about the story, Mitchell exploded with an exclamation of "JEEEEEEESUS," so violent that Carl felt it was "some sort of primal scream" and thought Mitchell might die on the telephone. After he'd read him the first two paragraphs, Mitchell interrupted, still screaming, "All that crap, you're putting it in the paper? It's all been denied. Katie Graham's gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that's published. Good Christ! That's the most sickening thing I ever heard."

Bernstein was stunned and called Ben Bradlee at home to read him Mitchell's quotes. Ben told Carl to use it all except the specific reference to my "tit." The quote was changed to read that I was "gonna get caught in a big fat wringer." Ben decided he didn't have to forewarn me. (Later he told me, "That was too good to check with you, Katharine." I would have agreed with Ben's decision.) As it was, I was shocked to read what I did in the paper, but even more so to hear what Mitchell had actually said, so personal and offensive were the threat and the message."...

May 31, 2013 10:15 AM  
Anonymous electric ciggyboom said...

oh yeah, both Nixon and Obama believed they could use their power to harass and intimidate their opponents, violating the Bill of Rights.....

but that's where the resemblance ends

otherwise, they were nothing alike

May 31, 2013 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Inconvenient facts for Faux News foot soldiers said...

The Fake Story About the IRS Commissioner and the White House:
White House records show Douglas Shulman signed in for 11 visits, not 157, between 2009 and 2012.


"The latest twist in the conservative effort to tie the IRS tax-exempt targeting scandal to the president is to focus on public visitor records released by the White House, in which former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman's name appears 157 times between 2009 and 2012. Unfortunately, few of those pushing this line have bothered to read more than the topline of that public information. Bill O'Reilly on Thursday called them the "smoking gun" and demanded of Shulman, "You must explain under oath what you were doing at the White House on 157 separate occasions." His statement built on a Daily Caller story, "IRS's Shulman had more public White House visits than any Cabinet member." An Investors Business Daily story and slew of blog items repeated the charges.

"The alibi the White House has wedded itself to is that it had to work closely with the IRS to implement ObamaCare," the Investor's Business Daily has written -- as if that were not true.

And yet the public meeting schedules available for review to any media outlet show that very thing: Shulman was cleared primarily to meet with administration staffers involved in implementation of the health-care reform bill. He was cleared 40 times to meet with Obama's director of the Office of Health Reform, and a further 80 times for the biweekly health reform deputies meetings and others set up by aides involved with the health-care law implementation efforts. That's 76 percent of his planned White House visits just there, before you even add in all the meetings with Office of Management and Budget personnel also involved in health reform.

Complicating the picture is the fact that just because a meeting was scheduled and Shulman was cleared to attend it does not mean that he actually went. Routine events like the biweekly health-care deputies meeting would have had a standing list of people cleared to attend, people whose White House appointments would have been logged and forwarded to the check-in gate. But there is no time of arrival information in the records to confirm that Shulman actually signed in and went to these standing meetings.

Indeed, of the 157 events Shulman was cleared to attend, White House records only provide time of arrival information -- confirming that he actually went to them -- for 11 events over the 2009-2012 period, and time of departure information for only six appointments. According to the White House records, Shulman signed in twice in 2009, five times in 2010, twice in 2011, and twice in 2012. That does not mean that he did not go to other meetings, only that the White House records do not show he went to the 157 meetings he was granted Secret Service clearance to attend.

..."Sooner or later this [question] will have to be answered," Fox News's Brit Hume tweeted, "What was the ex-IRS chief doing at the White House all those times?"

Fortunately, as it turns out, the public information he was referring to is really public. Here's who the IRS chief was scheduled to meet with, by building and by year, according to the visitor's logs. Again: This doesn't mean he actually went to meetings with all these folks, only that he was formally cleared for entry to meetings in which they were the point person organizing the gathering."

May 31, 2013 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm...well, this story has been around for about a week and neither the WH or Shulman denied it

they simply made up excuses

if it was inaccurate, they'd have said so

let's face it: the record-keeping at the gate was as inept as everything else under Obama's charge

still, if he hadn't been there on all those incidences, they would have said that rather than make up rationales

unless, they're trying to cover up something else

May 31, 2013 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's telling them anon. There is a coverup to cover up the coverup, I'll just betcha.

It's obvious.

May 31, 2013 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, Obama has revived an old Nixonian trick:

stonewalling

May 31, 2013 11:34 PM  
Anonymous ripcord Randy said...

I don't understand why the hypothetical rogue lower-level employees who starting attacking Obama's "enemies" after he was "shellacked" (completely without his approval, of course), have not been named and dismissed

oh, that's right

they don't exist

June 01, 2013 8:38 AM  
Anonymous The truth gets around said...

Huff Po
Douglas Shulman White House Visits Reveal Meetings To Implement Health Care Law

Radio.FoxNews
RIght Wing’s False Narrative About IRS White House Visits Debunked

June 01, 2013 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't understand why the hypothetical rogue lower-level employees who starting attacking Obama's "enemies" after he was "shellacked" (completely without his approval, of course), have not been named and dismissed"

Where have you been, Bubblehead??

Lois Lerner Takes The Fifth: "I Have Not Done Anything Wrong"

June 01, 2013 9:04 AM  
Anonymous the black rose said...

do you think before you write?

Lois Lerner is not a lower-level employee

she's run the not-for-profit section for years

she was put on leave, and not fired, because she refused to answer questions before a Congressional committee because the answer would tend to incriminate her

hard to see why she wasn't fired rather than put on leave

we're still waiting to hear the name and fate of the hypothetical rogue employees who just happened to help Obama get elected by suppressing donations to Tea Party groups

June 01, 2013 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lois Lerner is not a lower-level employee

she's run the not-for-profit section for years"


"Lerner was appointed as head of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division during the Bush administration, in 2006. She served as director the IRS Exempt Organizations Rulings and Agreements Division for four years before that. A graduate of Boston’s Northeastern University and Western New England College of Law in Springfield, Mass., Lerner began her legal career as a staff attorney in the Department of Justice’s criminal division before joining the Federal Election Commission as an assistant general counsel in 1981 (during the Reagan Administration). She spent 20 years at the FEC, where she was appointed head of the Enforcement Division in 1986 (during the Reagan Administration) and then acting general counsel for six months in 2001."

Larry Noble, who served as general counsel at the FEC from 1987 to 2000, was involved in hiring and promoting Lerner. “I worked with Lois for a number of years and she is really one of the more apolitical people I’ve met,” Noble told The Daily Beast. “That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have political views, but she really focuses on the job and what the rules are. She doesn’t have an agenda.“ Reporters grew frustrated with Lerner during a conference call last Friday, when she appeared reluctant to answer most of their questions. She seemed to dig herself into a deeper hole by acknowledging that she is “not good at math” when asked for a statistic, and she said she would not have publicly acknowledged her employees’ wrongdoing if she hadn’t been asked about it directly—further fueling the argument that the focus on conservative groups was politically motivated. Noble attributes Lerner’s discretion not to a coverup but to her rule-abiding nature.

“It does not surprise me that she would play it very close to the line in terms of what she would say publicly or what her organization would allow her to say,” he said. “The IRS is not a public-disclosure organization, and she has always been very conscientious of what she can and cannot say.”


But by all mean, keep flinging poo. Maybe some of it will stick to something beside your own hands.

June 01, 2013 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual, lying "Republicans are trying to insinuate that Lerner covered up for the Obama administration and that’s why she’s pleading the fifth. They can’t possibly know why she is pleading the fifth; the most logical reason is that given the DOJ opening a criminal investigation into the matter, her attorney advised her to shut it.

But if she has any political persuasion, it would seem to be Republican, based on her appointment by the Bush administration (infamous for politicizing government).

Hysteria is the way of the Right. The Daily Caller made a fool of itself the other day, with Patrick Howley claiming that Lerner’s husband’s law firm had strong Obama connections (read: Marxist, Kenyan Hitler, Nixon, Chicago “connections”): “Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner’s husband’s law firm has strong Obama connections.”

Um, no. But nice try. Walter Olson at Overlawywered broke it down, and it looks like her husband’s law firm gave more to Republicans, with Republican Ted Cruz raking in $16,250 from his lawyers. Olson concluded, “‘Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner’s husband’s law firm has strong Ted Cruz connections’ would have made for too confusing a headline on a Daily Caller lead story.”

Yes, we mustn’t let the facts get in the way of the Narrative."

--Excerpt from Lois Lerner Shows Why Obama Needs to Get Rid of All Remaining Bush Appointees

June 01, 2013 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

No one likes the IRS, but no one like the Tea Party either. The more this gets talked about, I would think people would wonder why political groups applying for "social welfare" non-profit status get to make such a stink. It seems a little weak to me.

I wonder if the anti-Obama crowd, with all the mini-scandals (IRS, Benghazi, et al.) will end up with a bit of a wolf-crying syndrome, and no one will pay attention to them if something real comes up. They've discredited themselves with birtherism, muslim insinuations and all that already.

The only thing that seems real is the AP subpoena concerns, and wasn't that the administration responding to Republican charges that they don't do enough to plug leaks. The problem for Obama is offending the press.

June 01, 2013 3:31 PM  
Anonymous nutty buddy said...

"But by all mean, keep flinging poo. Maybe some of it will stick to something beside your own hands."

I think one of the reasons people find TTF disgusting is their obsession with feces

we have a rich and varied language

you might have more success at persuasion if you could conjure up some metaphors thought don't involve you dreaming about your favorite substance

"As usual, lying "Republicans are trying to insinuate that Lerner covered up for the Obama administration and that’s why she’s pleading the fifth. They can’t possibly know why she is pleading the fifth;"

well, I said it was because she didn't want to incriminate herself

I was just giving her the benefit of the doubt

if she's doing it for some other reason, she's committing perjury since the amendment protects one from being forced to incriminate oneself, and that's what she is claiming as your reason

while we're all very impressed that you were able to google Lerner's resume, it still doesn't change the fact that she is not a lower level employee and that the WH has yet to name those it claims did this or take any action against them

"No one likes the IRS, but no one like the Tea Party either."

no one likes nutcase homosexual public school teachers either, Robert, but one of the great things about America is that you don't need to be well-liked to have rights

"The more this gets talked about, I would think people would wonder why political groups applying for "social welfare" non-profit status get to make such a stink. It seems a little weak to me."

things may seem that way from your nuthouse but people get to make a "stink" in America when their rights are violated

do you know anything about paragraph 501(c)(4) of the tax code?

such groups are allowed to participate in political activities just like 501(c)(5) groups, which are unions

could you imagine if the Bush had decided to target all liberal unions for audits?

"I wonder if the anti-Obama crowd, with all the mini-scandals (IRS, Benghazi, et al.) will end up with a bit of a wolf-crying syndrome, and no one will pay attention to them if something real comes up."

it's real now, buddy

73% of Americans want a special prosecutor named to investigate the IRS matter

"They've discredited themselves with birtherism, muslim insinuations and all that already."

doesn't seem to bother anyone

most Americans believed there was validity to both charges

"The only thing that seems real is the AP subpoena concerns,"

the mental unstable, by definition, struggle with reality

"and wasn't that the administration responding to Republican charges that they don't do enough to plug leaks."

you know that Obama...always doing whatever the Republicans tell him to do

that's why his lousy economy is Bush's fault

he was just doing what Bush told him to do

"The problem for Obama is offending the press."

actually, a lot of people dislike the press as much as they do homosexual nutcase public school teachers but we all believe in freedom of the press

June 01, 2013 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pleading the Fifth does not imply that the person is guilty of anything. In many cases it is the smart thing to do.

June 01, 2013 4:41 PM  
Anonymous laughing meself silly said...

the Fifth amendment contains a number if rights but the part pertaining to the right to abstain from testifying is specifically linked to not having to testify against oneself:

"No person... shall be be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,"

that's the rationale Lerner used

it's a fact

she didn't testify because her testimony would tend to incriminate her

it's why she's been suspended

June 02, 2013 12:25 AM  
Anonymous getting close to Barry said...

"(CNN) - In an exclusive interview Sunday on CNN's “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa said interviews with workers in the Cincinnati IRS office show targeting of conservative groups was "a problem that was coordinated in all likelihood right out of Washington headquarters - and we're getting to proving it."

“My gut tells me that too many people knew this wrongdoing was going on before the election, and at least by some sort of convenient, benign neglect, allowed it to go on through the election,” he said. “I’m not making any allegations as to motive, that they set out to do it, but certainly people knew it was happening.”

A bipartisan group of investigators from two House committees – Ways and Means, and Government Reform and Oversight – interviewed two front-line employees from the tax-exempt office last week.

One of the employees hit back against accusations that lower-level employees were responsible for the scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status in 2010, telling congressional investigators that the Ohio employees were being “thrown underneath the bus.”

A second "more senior" Cincinnati IRS employee said they began seeking other jobs when they were assigned to look out for applications from tea party groups, because they felt it was inappropriate.

According to excerpts released to CNN by the oversight committee, one of the employees said their supervisor told them the direction to single out conservative groups came from the Washington headquarters in March 2010.

By April, seven hard-copy versions of applications had been sent to Washington, the employee said. In addition, the employee said Washington had requested part of an application by two specific groups, though the excerpts do not disclose the names of those two groups.

Shortly after news of the scandal broke and IRS Commissioner Steven Miller announced his resignation, the IRS said two "rogue" employees in the agency's Cincinnati office were principally responsible for the "overly aggressive" handling of requests by groups with the words “tea party” and “patriot” in their names, a congressional source told CNN."

June 02, 2013 1:07 PM  
Anonymous The Right is Wrong said...

Issa's gut is full of the same stuff everybody else's gut is full of, and it stinks. He is in the middle of an investigation and is already publicizing his gut's judgment on the matter. That is pathetic and unethical.

"Excerpts released to CNN by the oversight committee" are illegal leaks of confidential government information, released by partisan investigators who are trying to prejudice the outcome of the investigation. We don't expect the Obama administration to charge anyone for these crimes, but we should not treat this information as anything other than the products of criminal activity by Republican committee members.

June 02, 2013 5:22 PM  
Anonymous whoa, nelly!! said...

"Issa's gut is full of the same stuff everybody else's gut is full of, and it stinks."

TTF's favorite topic

"He is in the middle of an investigation and is already publicizing his gut's judgment on the matter. That is pathetic and unethical."

it's not a criminal investigation

it's a Congressional one

his duty is to draw conclusions and share it with the public

""Excerpts released to CNN by the oversight committee" are illegal leaks of confidential government information,"

actually, IRS procedures don't have, and shouldn't have, classified status

releasing information about them is not illegal

of course, to people like Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, it seems illegal to release any information that embarrasses them

"released by partisan investigators who are trying to prejudice the outcome of the investigation."

since they are the ones who will decide the outcome, how will they prejudice themselves?

"We don't expect the Obama administration to charge anyone for these crimes,"

wouldn't be surprised if they try, given what's come out recently

newflash: Obama doesn't believe in the Constitution

"but we should not treat this information as anything other than the products of criminal activity by Republican committee members."

well, you might want to consider it the truth, from someone who knows

because that's what it is

it's not actually illegal to speak against his excellency, El Presidente

TTF means teach the facts, btw

try going with that

June 03, 2013 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

People love me, darling. Why do you always resort to personal insult? It doesn't enhance your credibility.

June 03, 2013 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert, you were exhibiting hateful bigotry against innocent IRS agents

but, since everyone loves you, why not run for something?

maybe prom queen

June 03, 2013 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I'm only a princess, not a queen, alas.

June 03, 2013 9:48 AM  
Anonymous rainbow unicorn said...

don't limit yourself, Robert

you're loved, use it

is this a good time to remark on how suicidal to the gay rights cause their pride parades are?

just read this weekend that the Gay men's chorus will perform a pre-parade concert

one song each to celebrate each of the seven deadly sins

then, they'll wonder why they have an image problem

June 03, 2013 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Oh, just let the people have a good time, for God's sake!

June 03, 2013 1:19 PM  
Anonymous sloppy joseph said...

yes, Robert, but why is mocking God the perfect fun time for them?

wouldn't, say, a zipline over an ice cream volcano be just as fun without attacking the religious beliefs of others?

how about giraffe rides?

June 03, 2013 2:08 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The College National Republican Committee goes where the Republican National Committee wouldn't dare in its 2012 election autopsy — they admit that it's not just the party's positions on gay marriage and abortion that repel young voters. It's the economic policy, too. The most eye-catching part of the College Republicans' analysis is that focus groups were "brutal," saying the GOP was "closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned." But Mitt Romney's presidential campaign didn't center on 1950s values or birtherism or banning gay marriage. The report points out that the GOP's core economic message is not all that popular either.

Sure, young people like the idea of reforming the tax code — something some Republicans want to do. But young people want to reform the code so rich people pay more taxes, College Republicans found, "as they perceived that the wealthy were able to take advantage of loopholes to ensure they paid less in taxes than young (and not particularly wealthy) people do." What about the conservative case that cutting rich people's taxes help everyone? Young people don't buy it. "The challenge for Republicans is to connect lower (or simpler) taxes to economic growth, a link that is not currently strong in the minds of many young voters," the report says. A Spring 2012 Harvard Institute of Politics survey found that only 39 percent agreed that "cutting taxes is an effective way to increase economic growth."

And young voters don't get excited when candidates bash "big government." The report says "big government" is not much of a motivator, even though young voters support cutting spending. They don't believe that cutting government will grow jobs. And they don't want to shrink big government just for the sake of shrinking it. And young voters are picky about what gets shrunk:

Overwhelmingly, respondents in the focus groups thought the problem was not just that too much money was being spent, but rather that it was being spent on the wrong things. (The groups were clear that they felt education deserved more, not less, funding.) Indeed, a large number of respondents pointed to the defense budget as the place where cuts should start.

June 03, 2013 7:43 PM  
Anonymous keep it comin' up said...

College Republicans are a bit like Barack Obama and lazy Priya:

they never had a real job

they've spent several years listen to socialist professors espouse propaganda

as long as they don't get jobs as community organizers, they'll snap out of it

alas, no such good fortune will befall our hopeless Canadian 24/7 cyber surfer

proof right there that government handouts don't work

June 04, 2013 6:54 AM  
Anonymous alice sunshine said...

it's always amusing to watch anon put "lazy" Priya in her place

makes me smile!!

June 04, 2013 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The 2011 repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” ended the military’s official policy of discriminating against gays and lesbians in the armed services, but a ban on transgender service members remains in place, meaning that trans men and women are still barred from serving.

But some advocates say that may change, or may come closer than ever before to changing, with the release of a new memoir from a former Navy SEAL. Kristen Beck (formerly Chris Beck) was a SEAL for 20 years — and a member of SEAL Team 6, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden — before retiring, coming out as transgender and beginning her transition from male to female in 2011.

Beck’s honest discussion of her gender identity, which she grappled with for years while in the military, is a major first, and could clear the way for others to come out with their own stories. And, as J.K. Trotter at the Atlantic Wire notes, Beck’s fellow SEALs were supportive of her transition:

Soon, the responses from SEALs stationed all around the world suddenly started pouring in:

“Brother, I am with you … being a SEAL is hard, this looks harder. Peace” * “I can’t say I understand the decision but I respect the courage. Peace and happiness be upon you…Jim” * ” … I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you that Kris has all the support and respect from me that Chris had … and quite possibly more. While I’m definitely surprised, I’m also in amazement at the strength you possess and the courage necessary to combat the strangers and ‘friends’ that I’m guessing have reared their ugly heads prior to and since your announcement. …”

Transgender rights continue to be a blind spot in much mainstream coverage of LGBT equality, but it’s possible that the visibility of Beck’s story, as well as her military bona fides, could lead the Pentagon to revisit its policy against trans service members."

June 04, 2013 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those college Republicans are a whole lot smarter than some Republicans currently holding office.

This one for example: Marsha Blackburn: Women 'Don't Want' Equal Pay Laws

Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn said on Sunday that women "don't want" equal pay laws.

During a roundtable discussion on NBC's Meet The Press, former White House advisor David Axelrod asked if the Tennessee lawmaker would support a law promoting workplace gender equality. Blackburn responded:

"I think that more important than that is making certain that women are recognized by those companies. You know, I’ve always said that I didn’t want to be given a job because I was a female, I wanted it because I was the most well-qualified person for the job. And making certain that companies are going to move forward in that vein, that is what women want. They don’t want the decisions made in Washington. They want to be able to have the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions for themselves."

The gender pay gap has expanded in recent years. In 2012, women earned approximately 80.9% of what men earned. According to a recent analysis, the average U.S. woman now stands to lose out on $443,000 over 40 years.


Blackman apparently believes women decide to pay themselves 80 cents on the dollar a man gets for the same job.

June 04, 2013 8:26 AM  
Anonymous get ourselves back to the garden said...

oh yeah, these stuffy military types just need to get over their hang-ups

after transgenders, next up will be naturists

if soldiers are riding tanks or flying stealth bombers, there is no reason they should be forced to wear clothes if they have an innate disdain for apparel

they're on the right track, baby, they were born that way

hopefully, this change can be made without ugliness rearing it's head

then, let's also start co-ed barracks

June 04, 2013 8:35 AM  
Anonymous here it comes said...

people are so sick of Obama and the gay agenda

his disapproval ratings grow daily

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

time to pay the proverbial piper!!

June 04, 2013 2:58 PM  
Anonymous tut-tut, TTF ought tobe embarassed said...

still no word on who the random, rogue Cincinnati underlings were, but here's what they allegedly thought of doing all by themselves:

"The chairman of an anti-gay marriage group testified Tuesday that his organization has proof that the IRS leaked confidential donor details last year, calling for prosecution into what he described as a "felony."

"This just smells and I hope this committee gets to the bottom of it," John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, said at a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee.

Eastman testified Tuesday alongside several Tea Party activists who all claim they were targeted by the IRS. The Tea Party groups offered a first-hand account of how the IRS singled them out when they applied for tax-exempt status, asking them onerous questions and dragging out their application process.

But Eastman shed light on another potential controversy involving the IRS -- the unauthorized disclosure of tax document information. He recalled how information on their donors was leaked last year and published on the website of the Human Rights Campaign, which Eastman described as their "principal political opponent" on the marriage issue. The documents showed Mitt Romney's political committee as a donor.

Asked by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., if he had "proof" that the IRS leaked that material, Eastman said that he did.

Eastman explained that while some information was redacted in the posted version, his group's "forensic" specialists were able to strip layers from the document and found "the original document that was posted there had originated from within the IRS."

He said the version had "internal IRS stamps," which "only exist within the IRS."

Eastman added: "You can imagine our shock and disgust over this."

He later alleged the information was "deliberately" provided to their opponents.

"If that's inadvertent, the word no longer means anything," he said, claiming his group has been "stonewalled" in its request for an investigation.

After a series of hearings on Capitol Hill where current and former IRS officials testified on the agency's actions, this is the first to feature alleged victims.

Karen Kinney, with the San Fernando Valley Patriots, described how she got a form from the IRS with 35 items divided into 80 "sub-points of inquiry," and was given just 20 days to comply.

The leader of a small South Carolina Tea Party group said her organization first applied for tax-exempt status in 2010 -- and is still waiting for the application to be processed.

Dianne Belsom, president of the Laurens County Tea Party, said her group in rural South Carolina has about 60 members.

For more than 18 months during the 2010 and 2012 election campaigns, IRS agents in a Cincinnati office singled out Tea Party and other conservative groups for additional scrutiny when they sought tax-exempt status, according to a report by J. Russell George, the Treasury Department inspector general for tax administration.

The report said Tea Party groups were asked inappropriate questions about their donors, their political affiliations and their positions on political issues. The additional scrutiny delayed applications for an average of nearly two years, making it difficult for many of the groups to raise money."

June 04, 2013 6:03 PM  
Blogger Patrick Fitzgerald said...

Sociopathanon: "I think one of the reasons people find TTF disgusting is their obsession with feces

you might have more success at persuasion if you could conjure up some metaphors thought don't involve you dreaming about your favorite substance"


I think you’re projecting again. Your anti-gay, anti-liberal/progressive comments are often feces based but deceptively cloaked in metaphor and wordplay.

Using overt words that mean BM in response is simply a more honest and direct approach. If others find that disgusting, then they’re not thinking through the true meaning of your comments.
---
"Pleading the Fifth does not imply that the person is guilty of anything. In many cases it is the smart thing to do."

Exactly. Especially when you know the other side has already decided that you’re guilty and WILL use anything and everything you say against you no matter how exculpatory.

To be clear, I’m not saying that this is the case in this instance, just that pleading the fifth is not necessarily an opportunistic ploy to avoid telling the truth.
--
"of course, to people like Barack Obama … it seems illegal to release any information that embarrasses them"

As opposed to what other presidential administration? Bush Jr., Bush Sr., Clinton, Reagan?
--
"just read this weekend that the Gay men's chorus will perform a pre-parade concert … one song each to celebrate each of the seven deadly sins"

[wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.]

No wonder that movie is named “Seven!” (Yes, ok, I admit I’m more than a bit slow sometimes.)
--
"yes, Robert, but why is mocking God the perfect fun time for them? … wouldn't, say, a zipline over an ice cream volcano be just as fun without attacking the religious beliefs of others?"

One could ask the same of you in regard to your relentless anti-gay attacks on the religious beliefs of those who support LGBT equality.
--
"after transgenders, next up will be naturists … if soldiers are riding tanks or flying stealth bombers, there is no reason they should be forced to wear clothes if they have an innate disdain for apparel … they're on the right track, baby, they were born that way"

We were all born that way, but an inherent part of the effectiveness of the military is the need for basic self-safety. Pockets for maps and instructions, gun holsters, bulletproof jackets, helmets, camouflage etc., just in case they may have to jump through a plate glass window and/or crawl, run or walk through a glass-laden gravel street with a bazooka, grenades, a machine gun... ... ...

As far as those who are transgendered, once the physical transition to their core gender is complete, it’s a moot point.

And it shouldn’t even have to wait for that because it’s not about sex or gender, it’s about skill.
--
"then, let's also start co-ed barracks"

Yes, let us, just as soon as the straight, masculine and powerfully “self-controlled” military superiors can find a way to keep their peckers in their pants and stop raping their subordinates.

June 05, 2013 3:21 AM  
Anonymous porky pig said...

there is no defense for the IRS scandal

even Democrats admit there is no defense for it

the only question is where the idea came from, who knew, who gave the order, who condoned it, and then who learned about it later and did nothing

after weeks, none of these vital questions have been answered

but Americans are developing an opinion:

"Almost half of Americans say President Barack Obama isn’t telling the truth when he says he didn’t know the Internal Revenue Service was giving extra scrutiny to the applications of small government groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Forty-seven percent of Americans say they don’t believe Obama, according to a Bloomberg National Poll of 1,002 adults conducted May 31 through June 3."

June 05, 2013 9:33 AM  
Anonymous jeremiah flab said...

Obama lies and lies and lies and lies

he should be awarded an honorary doctorate by the group with the most Orwellian name in town:

TTF

June 05, 2013 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bloomberg National Poll of 1,002 adults conducted May 31 through June 3."

And here are the findings released today from another 1000 respondents over the period May 30 - June 1 for NBC/Wall Street Journal.

"President Obama’s approval rating is up slightly and his popularity steady, but both the Republican Party and the Tea Party still have negative perception with voters, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Wednesday.

Only 32 percent of Americans have a positive perception of the GOP, with 41 percent negative, a net of -9. The Tea Party’s perception is up slightly since January of 2013 but only 26 percent report having a positive perception of the right-wing movement while 38 percent feel negatively, a net of -12. The number of Americans identifying with the Tea Party is up 4 percent to 24 but the share that says they’re not — 65 percent — has increased by one percent.

The IRS’s singling out of Tea Party groups that applied for non-profit “social welfare” status has renewed interest in the Tea Party movement. Earlier this year Republican strategist and fundraiser Karl Rove had created a new organization designed especially to hedge against Tea Partiers who could threaten safe seats by defeating establishment candidates in primaries. Since then, Republicans seem to have re-embraced the movement, using the IRS investigation to raise money and attack the president.

President Obama has a net positive of +7, which is unchanged since April, and his approval rating is slightly above water at 48/47, up from 47/48 a month ago.

The swirling accusations of scandal have slightly lowered the president’s reputation for truthfulness. Majorities say that the State Department’s handling of Benghazi, the Department of Justice’s handling of investigations of reports and the IRS’s focus on Tea Party groups raise doubts about the Obama administration.

The public supports investigations into these matters, saying they’re legitimate, not partisan, by a margin of 8 percent

But the public doesn’t seem to think the president is facing an unusually troubling time. In August of 2011, during the debt limit crisis, a majority said that the president was facing a “longer-term setback” that would be difficult to recover from. Now only 43 percent say the same in this poll. A total of 55 percent say that things are likely to get better or that the president is “not facing a setback.”

The share of Americans who identify with the Republican Party continues to decline with only 21 percent identifying with the GOP."

June 05, 2013 10:56 PM  

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