Surprise: The IRS leans left — way left
Posted May 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm by Meredith Jessup
How much did politics drive the Internal Revenue Service to target conservative activist groups?
As NRO’s Andrew Stiles notes, the “partisan union” at the IRS likely played a huge role:
The IRS may be “an independent enforcement agency with only two political appointees,” in the words of White House press secretary Jay Carney, but its employees are represented by a powerful, deeply partisan union whose boss has publicly disparaged the Tea Party and criticized the Republican party for having ties to it.
The White House continues to insist that profound incompetence, not partisan malice, led the IRS to single out conservative groups applying for nonprofit status. If the testimony of acting commissioner Steven Miller is true, incompetence was certainly a factor. But given all that has come to light about the agency and its employees in recent days, it would be hard to believe that its targeting of conservative groups wasn’t also politically motivated.
As the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney and others have pointed out, the agency’s employees are heavily engaged in politics and lean considerably to the left. Records show that IRS employees in 2012 donated more than twice as much to the Obama as to the Romney campaign. Nearly two-thirds of all employee contributions over the last three elections cycles have gone to Democrats.
‘First they came for Fox News…’
Posted May 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm by Meredith Jessup
Over at the Daily Beast, Kirsten Powers explains “how hope and change gave way to spying on the press.”
In her column, Powers notes how most of the media shrugged when the Obama administration attacked Fox News in the past. But their silence then means they are at the mercy of the administration now:
First they came for Fox News, and they did not speak out—because they were not Fox News. Then they came for government whistleblowers, and they did not speak out—because they were not government whistleblowers. Then they came for the maker of a YouTube video, and—okay, we know how this story ends. But how did we get here?
Turns out it’s a fairly swift sojourn from a president pushing to “delegitimize” a news organization to threatening criminal prosecution for journalistic activity by a Fox News reporter, James Rosen, to spying on Associated Press reporters. In between, the Obama administration found time to relentlessly persecute government whistleblowers and publicly harass and condemn a private American citizen for expressing his constitutionally protected speech in the form of an anti-Islam YouTube video.
Where were the media when all this began happening? With a few exceptions, they were acting as quiet enablers.
Most Republicans not following news about Obama admin’s three scandals ‘very closely’
Posted May 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm by Eddie Scarry
Some findings from a Pew Research survey, which show that like stories related to Benghazi, most of the public (including Republicans) isn’t following reports on the two other scandals dogging the Obama administration:
Obama DOJ relied on 1917 Espionage Act to target ‘co-conspirator’ Fox News
Posted May 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm by Meredith Jessup
In order to keep tabs on Fox News correspondent James Rosen, the Obama Justice Department reportedly turned to the 1917 Espionage Act, declaring Rosen “an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator” to the leaking of classified materials. The details are outlined on the DOJ’s application for a search warrant, included in court documents obtained Monday by the Washington Post.
The Espionage Act was passed by Congress in 1917, about two months after America’s formal entry into World War I. Signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, the law was used to criminally charge any person conveying information intended to interfere with the U.S. military’s war efforts and/or promoting the success of America’s enemies. With the law in place, anyone found guilty of such acts was subject to a fine of $10,000 and 20 years in prison.
Ben Wizner, director the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, says that classifying a journalist as an un-indicted co-conspirator is “even a bigger deal” than the reported seizure of phone records from the Associated Press.
Stuart Stevens predicts racist ‘small cable show’ co-hosted by Sharpton, Weiner
Posted May 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm by Eddie Scarry
Stuart Stevens, former strategist for the Mitt Romney 2012 presidential campaign, clearly doesn’t like former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who is reportedly set to announce he is running for New York City mayor. He doesn’t think too highly of MSNBC’s Rev. Al Sharpton, either.
In a column for The Daily Beast, Stevens predicts Weiner will lose the mayoral race and then end up on TV with Sharpton. (more…)
Report: More Benghazi whistleblowers to come forward?
Posted May 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm by Meredith Jessup
Over at PJMedia, columnist Roger Simon reports that at least three additional potential whistleblowers — leagues of the former diplomats — are lawyering-up in advance of testifying about “what really transpired in Benghazi.”
According to Simon, the details could be “potentially devastating to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.” Indeed, if these details are true, this could be a real game-changer. Emphasis mine:
The former diplomats inform PJM the new revelations concentrate in two areas — what Ambassador Chris Stevens was actually doing in Benghazi and the pressure put on General Carter Ham, then in command of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and therefore responsible for Libya, not to act to protect jeopardized U.S. personnel.
Stevens’ mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming “insurgents” with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft. [...]
Ft. Hood shooter is still collecting a paycheck
Posted May 21, 2013 at 10:40 am by Meredith Jessup
Alternate headline: Accused Ft. Hood murderer makes more sitting in prison than humble blogger.
The Department of Defense confirms to NBC 5 Investigates that accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan has now been paid more than $278,000 since the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting that left 13 dead 32 injured. The Army said under the Military Code of Justice, Hasan’s salary cannot be suspended unless he is proven guilty.
If Hasan had been a civilian defense department employee, NBC 5 Investigates has learned, the Army could have suspended his pay after just seven days.
Personnel rules for most civilian government workers allow for “indefinite suspensions” in cases “when the agency has reasonable cause to believe that the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed.”
Meanwhile, more than three years later soldiers wounded in the mass shooting are fighting to receive the same pay and medical benefits given to those wounded in combat.
What’s more disturbing is why Hasan is still collecting pay from prison:
The Army has not classified the wounds of the Ft. Hood victims as “combat related” and declines to label the shooting a “terrorist attack.”
The “combat related” designation is an important one, for without it Burnett and other shooting victims are not given combat-related pay, they are not eligible for Purple Heart retirement or medical benefits given to other soldiers wounded either at war or during the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.
Photog recounts sight of children pulled from school rubble in Oklahoma
Posted May 21, 2013 at 10:18 am by Eddie Scarry
Associated Press photographer Sue Ogrocki arrived in Moore, Okla., after a massive tornado tore through the area Monday, demolishing an elementary school. She started snapping photos of the scene and later wrote about what she saw. (more…)
Hm: Watertown, Mass. has other ties to terrorism
Posted May 21, 2013 at 10:04 am by Meredith Jessup
Following the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings last month, local police and FBI tracked the leading suspects — the Tsarnaev brothers — to the suburb of Watertown, Connecticut. What remains unclear to investigators, however, is what connections the Tsarnaevs had to Watertown and why they thought it was a place that might evade police detection.
As it turns out, Watertown has been the focus of at least one other major terrorist investigation in recent years.
According to ABC News, the Tsarnaevs had friends in the area, including Maximilian Freddura, a member of “a prominent Boston restaurateur family.” Freddura’s apartment is just one block away from the intersection of Laurel and Dextor Streets — where police engaged in a firefight with the Tsarnaev brothers five days after the bombing.
Tuesday morning must-reads
Posted May 21, 2013 at 9:24 am by Meredith Jessup
MSNBC manages to blame Bush for Obama’s IRS scandal
For Barack Obama, speech isn’t free when it criticizes him
Labor unions break ranks with White House on ObamaCare
Richard Milhous Obama: Why Nixon comparison is fair game
Obama’s budget numbers don’t add up
MercuryOne is on the ground in Moore, Oklahoma today:
Yesterday saw devastating severe storms and tornadoes throughout the Midwest, and especially in the Moore, Oklahoma area. While lives and communities have been forever changed by these events, so many of you have responded enthusiastically to our call to help those affected by the most recent storms. Yesterday, through your support, Mercury One was able to respond with tractor-trailer loads of much needed supplies for the Moore, OK area.
To help, click here.
Thank you for your support of our 2013 Midwest Tornado Relief Fund and for being a blessing in the lives that need it most right now.
Oklahoman: ‘Have mercy — once again — on Oklahoma, O Lord!’
Posted May 21, 2013 at 9:19 am by Eddie Scarry
From Tuesday’s editorial in The Oklahoman, regarding Monday’s devastating storm in the Moore, Okla. area:
The hurts are impaled on our consciousness. The wrath of weather on full display reminds us that there are forces that do not answer to man. We are at their mercy and all we can do is ask for mercy. …
This is all more reason to stay prepared, to stay tuned to weather alerts but also to stay attuned to a Greater Power that rules our lives and calls forth nature. Through death and destruction, in chaos and calamity, but also in recovery and redemption, God is in control.
Have mercy — once again — on Oklahoma, O Lord! Let your peace prevail. May your grace shower the city and wrap it in light. Help us share the suffering and make our hands yours to rebuild shattered communities and lives.
Here’s the front page: (more…)
Who Has More Viewers…President Obama’s Weekly Address Or The Daily Blazecast?
Posted May 20, 2013 at 10:02 pm by Mike Opelka
This past weekend, TheBlaze posted a story quoting Mr. Obama’s online video address. After watching it, we wondered…”How many people are actually clicking on this?” That question is easily answered by simply looking at the YouTube posting of the video where a counter is updated with each click. Here are the latest counts for the last four weekly video addresses from the President.
- 5/18 – 33,433
- 5/11 – 41,953
- 5/4 - 66,523
- 4/27 – 33,176
Compare those numbers with the viewer numbers from the last four Blazecasts from the previous week.
- 5/17 – 101,510
- 5/16 – 85,047
- 5/15 – 94,941
- 5/14 – 61,884
In a way, the comparison we’re making here is “apples and oranges.” Then again, in some ways, it’s not. Both are online broadcasts. Both are free and available on-demand. The White House also uses its Twitter account to promote things like the weekly address…so does TheBlaze.
The difference is social media is obvious. Consider the number of Twitter followers for White House and TheBlaze.
- The White House – 3,904,666 followers
- TheBlaze – 179,455 followers
There was also something else about Obama’s weekly address that sticks in the craw of this writer — the informal way the President opens almost every address. Mr Obama uses a “folksy” delivery and phrasing for his Saturday morning message. Instead of the very formal, “My fellow Americans,” or even the basic “Good morning,” preferred by the last President Bush, Obama starts virtually every online address by simply saying; “Hi everybody…”
Hi Everybody? It just feels a tad informal for an address from the President of the United States to all Americans. The most powerful man in the free world sounding (to me) more like a Morning Zookeeper cracking the mic before introducing the next phony phone call. It was so informal that some on TheBlaze staff were reminded of the irritating “Hey Guys” viral video.
(By the way, if you were able to watch more than :30 of that video, you are among the strongest people on the planet.)
In case you are among the 99.9% of the country that has not seen this week’s address, we have embedded it here.
Most people don’t think the DOJ was trying to bully the media by secretly taking reporters’ phone records
Posted May 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm by Eddie Scarry
42% think the Justice Department’s actions were chiefly an effort to intimidate the media. But nearly as many (38%) think Justice was primarily acting out of a concern for national security. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure.
It’s worth noting that this poll was taken before news broke Monday that a Fox News reporter also had his emails, phone records and whereabouts tracked by the Justice Department.
Greta Van Susteren says DOJ ‘lucky’ they didn’t hack her emails
Posted May 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm by Eddie Scarry
Van Susteren wrote that the the hackers were “lucky” they didn’t get into her emails because they’re full of details about her sick dog Audrey (pictured right). (more…)
Media Matters has no idea what to do with itself right now
Posted May 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm by Eddie Scarry
The anti-Fox News, Pro-Obama crowd at Media Matters for America are sort of beside themselves lately.
After news broke last week that the Justice Department in 2012 secretly seized the phone records of Associated Press staffers, MMFA curiously didn’t cover it at all on its website. Except to post a set of talking points that made the case for the administration.
Caption that photo!: the winner
Posted May 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm by Eddie Scarry
“But I don’t Tawanna eat it, there’s Brawley — I mean broccoli — in it.”– VISION HARRY
‘A bushel of Pinocchios for IRS’s Lois Lerner’
Posted May 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm by Meredith Jessup
What’s worse than receiving several Pinocchios for political lies?
Apparently IRS Lois Lerner is so full of falsehoods, the Washington Post‘s FactChecker has had to create an entirely new category: a bushel.
The article outlines a number of Lerner’s falsehoods and concludes:
In some ways, this is just scratching the surface of Lerner’s misstatements and weasely wording when the revelations about the IRS’s activities first came to light on May 10. But, taken together, it’s certainly enough to earn her four Pinocchios.
Click here to read the full bushel.
TheBlaze Magazine: Government rule vs. home-school
Posted May 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm by Chris Field
Home-schooling in America is a proven success, but the Left continues to wage war against home education. Their attacks aren’t new—Progressives first made the case in the early 20th century that government control trumps the rights of parents.
What will the assault look like in the 21st century?
Plus, meet new brand of artists who are drawing upon faith and freedom to give a traditional tone to modern art and send a message about the America they love.
There’s now an official ‘Obama Scandals’ tournament bracket
Posted May 20, 2013 at 12:28 pm by Meredith Jessup
Should we call this “May Madness”?
Over at Ricochet, Jon Gabriel has compiled the definitive Obama Scandal Bracket — the best way to keep track of all the scandals threatening to bring down the Obama administration:
With so many White House scandals—and new ones popping up every day—how are average citizens supposed to keep track? Wouldn’t it be nice if Obama went on ESPN and mapped them all on a bracket?
Why yes, yes it would.
Feast your eyes (click here to view original full-sized version):
Could Woodward & Berstein get a Pulitzer in today’s Washington?
Posted May 20, 2013 at 11:56 am by Meredith Jessup
The B.S. of A wonders:
Ha: Obama tells graduates, no more ‘excuses’
Posted May 20, 2013 at 11:31 am by Meredith Jessup
Speaking to an audience at historically black Morehouse College on Sunday, President Obama urged graduates to avoid using “excuses” in life and to accept responsibility in life.
Yeah, this guy actually said that…
“One of the things you’ve learned over the last four years is there’s no longer any room for excuses,” he told the Atlanta college’s 500 male graduates, in a rare speech on what he sees as the obligations that young black men have to themselves, their families and their communities.
“We’ve got no time for excuses – not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t,” he said. “It’s not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; that’s still out there. It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, hypercompetitive world, with a billion young people from China and India and Brazil entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything you haven’t earned.”
And, he said, while being black may sometimes pose obstacles, “whatever hardships you may experience because of your race … pale in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured – and overcame.”
See the video after the jump…
Now on the cover of TheBlaze Magazine: Power to the parents
Posted May 20, 2013 at 10:58 am by Chris Field
The Fight for Home-School Rights
Wall Street Journal editor: Obama won reelection through ‘illicit means’
Posted May 20, 2013 at 10:55 am by Eddie Scarry
Here’s a new one.
James Taranto, opinion editor for the Wall Street Journal, stops just short of saying President Obama stole the 2012 election. (more…)
Associated Press may take legal action against DOJ
Posted May 20, 2013 at 10:08 am by Eddie Scarry
Associated Press lawyer David Schulz is considering legal action after it was reported that the Department of Justice last year secretly seized phone records of the AP staffers. (more…)
Rand Paul: Clinton should’ve resigned over Benghazi
Posted May 20, 2013 at 9:55 am by Meredith Jessup
Sen. Rand Paul could be a potential presidential contender and adversary for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but for now he says the focus should be on the current scandal surrounding the 9/11 Benghazi terror attack — something that reflects a “terrible and tragic error” of judgment by Clinton and President Obama.
Democrats have criticized Republicans for making a political “sideshow” of the investigation — a notion Paul rejected. “Whether it has political overtones or not,” Paul told CNN over the weekend, “it really goes to the heart of who you are as secretary of state if you do not provide security to an embassy that’s begging for it.”
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