The mullahs and their lackeys have big plans—as evidenced by their terror ties, naval exercises (including blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier), nuclear ambitions, meddling in the Middle East chaos and connections to anti-American regimes around the world.
Are we prepared for a Persian insurgency?
Do our elected leaders really believe that if we’re nice to them, they’ll be nice to us?
Also in this issue: With a big election season ahead of us, can a history of clashes between libertarians and Christians be reversed? Our Fred Lucas examines what it might take to get the two sides to come together to fight Big Government and work to preserve American liberty.
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President Barack Obama on Tuesday vetoed a resolution disapproving of a new federal regulation that Republicans say will put companies at an unfair disadvantage when their employees try to unionize.
Earlier this month, the House and Senate each passed a resolution disapproving of what some call the National Labor Relations Board’s “ambush election” rule. That rule could force companies to allow union elections just 11 days after they’re notified that an election was called — Republicans say that’s way too fast, and that current rules already allow for reasonably quick votes.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday that his agency’s policy is not to allow any use of personal email for work, and said he learned about that policy almost instantly when he sent a few work emails to his personal account in order to work from home. He said IT workers at the IRS talked to him about those emails “within a couple of days.”
In contrast, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent more than four years at State using her personal email, and working with her top aides who also used their personal email. But instead of putting a stop to that practice, the State Department accepted it, and only recently became aware that Clinton may have been holding onto some work-related emails that she never gave back to the government.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday that he wants everyone in the near future to do their taxes online, through a government account that people would set up through the tax collection agency.
“The idea is that taxpayers would have an account at the IRS where they or their preparers can log in securely, get all the information about their account, and interact with the IRS as needed,” he said at a National Press Club speech in Washington.
“Most things that taxpayers need to do to fulfill their obligations could be done virtually, and there would be much less need for in-person help, either by waiting in line at an IRS assistance center or calling the IRS,” he added.
Koskinen’s request comes just months after the IRS has been blamed for sharing confidential taxpayer information, and targeting conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status. Many conservatives are still outraged over that treatment, which could make it difficult to convince some that they should create an online account with the IRS.
But Koskinen noted the IRS targeting scandal, and money wasted on videos and conferences, and said the IRS is past those issues and has addressed them fully.
“We’ve addressed them, so we think they won’t happen again, and it really does make it a new day at the IRS,” he said. “It’s not the IRS of 2010, 2011 or even 2012.”
Koskinen said that goal is one the IRS is pursuing in order to evolve and let people pay taxes just as they pay other bills online.
“We need to look at the future in a more comprehensive way and consider of how we can take advantage of the latest technology to move the entire taxpayer experience to a new level, and do it in a way that is cost-effective for the government,” he said. “Our goal is for taxpayers to have a more complete online experience for all their transactions with the IRS.”
But while Koskinen said this goal is “not unrealistic,” he acknowledged again that the IRS is using some computer systems that were in use decades ago. Koskinen has said the IRS needs more funding to improve its information technology system, but said again that the scandals of the last few years have prompted Congress to pare back funding.
“The underfunding of the agency is the most critical challenge facing the IRS today,” he said.
The current IRS budget is $10.9 billion, and the IRS has asked for $12.9 billion for 2016 to start this work and do other things. For example, he has said the agency needs about half a billion dollars to implement Obamacare.
The world’s No. 1 security threat.
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House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Tuesday formally asked Hillary Clinton to appear before his committee to take questions about her decision to use a personal email account while serving as Secretary of State.
The request came just days after Clinton’s lawyers said Clinton had deleted all non-work emails from her personal server, a move that Republicans say was made without any outside review of what might have been on those emails. Gowdy has said he still sees gaps in the work emails his committee has received from Clinton, which leaves open the possibility that some emails related to the 2012 attack in Benghazi may have been deleted.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General is preparing to issue a damning report that says the VA’s Philadelphia office needs to make radical improvements in almost every way it serves veterans — from the most basic level of how it opens and stores veterans claims it receives in the mail, to a full investigation of whether VA staff purposefully ignored these claims.
The OIG has been working on its Philadelphia report for months, and while the detailed report is expected in the coming days or weeks, TheBlaze obtained a copy of the draft set of 35 recommendations it will make for the troubled office (see below for all 35 recommendations).
Be prepared to see some bad driving.
Video posted online Monday shows an individual wipe out not once, but twice while going down a straight road in a Porsche Cayman — all in less than 60 seconds.
Titled “Crazy PEI Driver,” footage of the terrible driver has received nearly 150,000 views online. According to the video’s time stamp, the incident took place on Monday. It was not clear why the driver operated the vehicle in such a reckless manner.
“Just cause you have a nice car doesn’t make you a good driver,” wrote Richard Stewart, the individual who uploaded the video to YouTube.
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The Middle East is descending into chaos and war, courtesy of Resident Obama’s pro-Iranian, light footprint/lead-from-behind foreign policy. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, talked with The Chris Salcedo Show about the catastrophic situation in the region and Obama’s effort to legitimize Iran’s nuclear program.
Toward the end of our discussion, I pointed out that given all of the damage Obama is doing to the U.S. and the world, it’s essential that the Republican Party be a genuine opposition party to Obama’s extremist liberal madness. McCaul sees a major obstacle in pushing the GOP agenda in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. I focused on McConnell’s unwillingness to push the GOP agenda with the same zeal that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid used to push extremist liberal’s agenda.
To hear the detailed interview about national security and the political environment in the U.S. with McCaul, just click and cue to 59:00:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned Monday that Republicans would vote to terminate aid to the United Nations if President Barack Obama runs to the U.N. for approval of an Iran nuclear deal without first consulting Congress.
“To the president, if you take this deal to the U.N. Security Council first, if you go to the United Nations before you come to your own Congress, there will be a backlash like you’ve never seen in Congress, and we’ll suspend aid to the U.N. because that would be so provocative,” Graham told Fox News.
Democrats are once again proposing to expand the federal school lunch program to weekends and holidays, to create a full-time nutrition program during the school year for kids who are most at risk of going hungry when school is out.
The federal school lunch program currently gives kids free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch. But the sponsor of the Weekends Without Hunger Act, Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.), says thousands of kids run the risk of going hungry any time school is out, and that the federal government needs to step in and fill that gap.
When the Obama administration introduced new nutrition guidelines last year for food served at school, many grumbled that it meant the end of fun snacks, soda and sugary treats that most kids love to gobble up.
For the most part, that’s exactly what happened. That’s led to endless complaints that the federal government is too intrusive, and in some cases isn’t letting kids eat enough, especially if they’re bigger than average or are involved in sports that burn a lot of calories.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has brushed aside a damning government report that said he exerted political influence in order to win visas for investors who otherwise would have been turned down, by saying the report came from “whiners” in the government.
“The Homeland Security report came from a bunch of whiners at the Department of Homeland Security,” Reid told KNPR radio. “They felt, I guess, that they weren’t included in my conversation. Maybe I should have called them.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General has started a formal investigation into how one senior VA official was paid more than a quarter of a million dollars in relocation expenses when she was transferred from Washington, D.C., to lead the Philadelphia regional office.
It was reported last week that Philadelphia VA Director Diana Rubens was paid $288,206.77 when she relocated to Philadelphia in 2014. That’s more than $250,000 more than the average relocation expense normally offered to VA officials, according to data provided by the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday that congressional Republicans would waste no time voting to impose new sanctions against Iran if there is no agreed framework in place the early this week under which Iran would scale back its nuclear ambitions.
Boehner was asked on CNN how quickly Congress would move if the March 31 deadline passes without any agreement, and answered, “Very.”
Senate Republicans have broken their promise to treat Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch fairly and to give her a vote in a reasonable period of time, White House spokesman Josh Earnest argued Friday.
“I think we’re up to 139 days now,” Earnest told reporters. “And again, that represents an unconscionable delay on the part of Republicans who previously promised to consider her nomination in a timely fashion and to treat her fairly.”
President Barack Obama argued Thursday that Republicans should abandon their proposal to eliminate the estate tax on large inheritances, because wealthy people already have enough money and don’t need another tax cut.
“These folks at the very top, the top one-tenth of one percent, are wonderful people,” Obama said at a speech before a community college in Birmingham, Alabama. “Warren Buffett’s a great friend of mine. They’ve done amazing things, they’ve invested, they’ve created businesses. They deserve great success.”
To call it an awkward pause might be the understatement of the year. It lasted more than eight minutes.
President Obama was scheduled to speak at the White House’s “Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network Kickoff Meeting” on Wednesday morning.
After he was introduced to the cheering crowd, something strange happened — nothing. The president didn’t show up for eight minutes. When he finally did arrive, no explanation was given. Nothing was said about it.
Dr. Patrick Conway was set to introduce the president Obama. He was reportedly told his introduction could be anywhere from forty-five seconds to fifteen minutes.
About two minutes into his presentation, it appeared that Conway was taking cues from someone offstage concerning the arrival of the president. At one point, he said, “I may have to expand my talk.” Seconds later, he was apparently signaled to wrap up his remarks and introduce Obama.
Here is Dr. Conway’s prepared introduction, “I’m incredibly excited to recognize our next speaker, the President of the United States. Please, I want you to stand up and also give yourselves a round of applause for being here today and also to improve the health system of America, applaud for a very long time and to bring in the very next guest. Thanks a lot.”
At that point, Conway left the podium, the camera panned to the left, anticipating the president’s entrance — and nothing happened.
The crowd stood, clapping for about forty seconds. They remained standing for eight minutes, until a voice off stage was heard asking, “Ready?” Followed by a brief, “Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States accompanied by Dr. Nancy Beran.”
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Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson claimed Thursday that President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration shouldn’t have to cost taxpayers any money, and said the plan is to fund it with user fees that illegal immigrants will pay to apply for the program.
In November, Obama created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents Program, or DAPA, which would let illegal residents who are parents or guardians of legal residents get protected status and even work in the United States.
While you watch tonight’s Glenn Beck interview with Grover Norquist here, join the live chat, and the fact check of what Norquist says, below.
It starts at 5 p.m. ET:
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) said Thursday that he would use President Abraham Lincoln as inspiration to overcome the adversity he now faces, after being forced to resign in the wake of charges that he improperly used campaign money to redecorate his office, and fraudulently claimed mileage reimbursements for miles he never drove.
In his last speech on the House floor Wednesday, Schock noted that Lincoln held his seat for one term many years ago, and indicated that Lincoln also went through his share of troubles, although he didn’t compare Lincoln’s adventures to his own.
Wednesday night’s 2015 Radio and TV Correspondents Association dinner in Washington, D.C. took a page out of Jimmy Kimmel’s playbook as a few of the biggest names in the House and Senate agreed to read some unflattering tweets about themselves.
Watch the montage here:
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Just a day after the House passed a resolution calling for a balanced budget within the next 10 years, the House turned around and passed legislation that would increase budget deficits by $141 billion, putting a balanced budget out of reach once again.
House Republican leaders worked with Democrats to bring up a bill to permanently end the threat of a steep cut to Medicare doctor reimbursement rates. Without a permanent resolution, Congress has had to pass “doc fix” bills every so often to ensure these payment reductions don’t take place.
The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General released a scathing report Thursday that said it has evidence that Drug Enforcement Administration officials routinely held “sex parties” in Colombia with prostitutes that were “funded by the local drug cartels.”
According to the report, that charge was “alleged” by a former Colombian police officer, who also alleged that he was tasked with “providing protection for the DEA agents’ weapons and property during the parties.” The parties took place at headquarters.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) warned the Obama administration Thursday against offering military support to Iran-backed Shiite fighters who are battling the Islamic State, and said doing so would only set up a later conflict with that force.
Reports have surfaced over the last few weeks that the U.S. is offering air support to these Iran-backed forces. On Wednesday, the coalition fighting the Islamic State conducted airstrikes in Tikrit, Iraq, a sign that was widely interpreted as an effort to back Iranian forces.