Wednesday, May 15, 2013



They say there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. Try as we might, it's virtually impossible to escape the clutches of the Grim Reaper or the Tax Man. Both will get you eventually.

And as anyone who has been through an IRS audit or suffered a tax penalty can attest, the power that the Internal Revenue Service wields is enormous. As John Marshall famously concluded, "the power to tax is the power to destroy." Indeed it is, and because of this it is imperative that the IRS conducts itself in a sterling manner. The American people should be able to trust that an entity with so much power is completely ethical, fair, and impartial. Anything less would be a grievous betrayal of the public trust and the Constitution.

Sadly, we're discovering that the IRS has been less than scrupulous in its treatment of conservative non-profits in recent years. According to the admissions of Lois Lerner, head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, "about 75 groups with 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their names received extra IRS screening between 2010 and 2012." Specifically, conservative groups applying for non-profit status in TN, TX, KY, and OH were subjected to intrusive questions about their donors and subject to long delays. In some cases, letters were sent to big donors to these groups suggesting that their contributions could be retroactively taxed under the gift tax.

All of this occurred in the run-up to the 2012 elections, but of course officials representing the Obama administration have flatly rejected the notion that politics are behind the IRS' antics. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the Administration doesn't have the facts on its side. From a piece in the Wall Street Journal:

"It's important to understand that the timing of these requests, in the middle of the 2012 campaign, had the effect of stifling political activity. The targeted groups had tax-exempt status that allowed them to participate in certain kinds of political messaging. But any such group receiving IRS missives is immediately going to become cautious, lest it risk the arbitrary wrath of some tax official. The speech-squelching effects may have been especially important in Ohio, which was ground zero in the battle for the White House.

Ms. Lerner's apology on Friday was unexpected but we're doubtful that it came as a sudden bolt of conscience. The mea culpa lands ahead of an official report on the tax-fishing incidents by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. That report was requested by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa and Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan in June 2012, and the IG is expected to issue its findings soon.

The incident is particularly rich in light of recent efforts by campaign finance reformers to broaden the powers of the IRS and other non-expert agencies to regulate politics, especially nonprofits. The latest campaign finance disclosure bill sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), would force trade organizations and 527 and 501(c) groups to disclose their donors, institute real-time reporting requirements and impose draconian penalties for noncompliance.

The bill modifies the tax code to cover political nonprofits, so it also hands more power to regulate politics to the IRS. The bill is a terrible idea on its face, but after Ms. Lerner's disclosure it looks positively dangerous."


As the facts clearly indicate, the desired effect of the IRS's targeting activities was to impose a chilling effect on conservative political speech in 2012 election battle. Unscrupulous bureaucrats engaged in a condemnable abuse of power in order to stifle the free exchange of ideas and thus protect their favored candidate.

Despite what Ms. Lerner would have the American people think, the admitted wrongdoing is much more than merely "regrettable." It is extremely serious. A government that misuses its power in order to suppress the speech of one to the benefit of another cannot claim to be a protector of freedom. This is the behavior of dictatorships, not free societies. The principle at stake here is one that should transcend party. Today it might be conservatives in Uncle Sam's crosshairs, but tomorrow it could just as easily be liberals, or Christians, or feminists or environmentalists – name your interest group. The potential for abuse is endless.

The public should be outraged. The ACLU should be in a lather. Congress should aggressively intervene in its oversight role and demand answers. Any abuse of power by one branch of government should be checked by the other branches. Any individuals involved should be fired immediately, and criminal charges should be filed. If the government fails to send a clear message that such abuses will not be tolerated, bureaucrats who feel insulated from accountability will continue to view government as a means to advance personal political views at the expense of the Constitution.

Given its many recent fumbles and the growing impression that the Administration believes itself to be above reproach, a vigorous and public response by the President would be welcomed on this matter. If Mr. Obama truly cherishes the Constitution and embraces America's culture of free speech then he should be first in line demanding answers. His response, or lack thereof, will speak volumes.

Obama's Legacy? Scandal

Brent Bozell / Townhall Columnist
 
The Obama scandals started piling up on top of each other in the last few days. The civil servants who testified on Benghazi were heartbreaking. Then the IRS admitted a punitive agenda against tax exemptions for groups with "tea party" in the name or groups that "educate about the Constitution." 

Then Eric Holder's Justice Department was revealed to be wiretapping the Associated Press in April and May of 2012 to nail a leaker. President Obama is not a "victim" of a "second-term curse." This is the corrupt (SET ITAL) first (END ITAL) term beginning to smell, it is (SET ITAL) his (END ITAL) administration, and even the media cannot deny the odor of malfeasance.

Most liberal pundits are no longer lecturing the conservatives about how they should dump the Benghazi probe, as is their clarion call after every Democratic scandal. Too much damaging information is coming out, not to mention the stonewalling, not to mention Obama's continuous and blatant lying, such as his thuggish insistence he called this a terrorist act from the get-go, which he did not -- period.

The growing collection of the Obama scandals paints a larger picture of a president who appears comfortable with an IRS that harasses his enemies, a State Department that lies to the world and a Justice Department that's wiretapping AP reporters on their home phones. That's not exactly the image of Hope and Change that the press -- including the Obama pals at AP -- sold us in 2008.

In 2006, reporters suggested Bush might be impeachment fodder for "domestic spying" -- when the National Security Agency was listening to phone calls between Americans and Muslim radicals abroad. If the media can't summon a stronger sense of outrage when the "domestic spying" is on their journalistic colleagues, then you'll know (again) they're completely in the tank.

In 2011 and 2012, a disturbing number of Obama's media coddlers tried to suggest he was miraculously free of any Obama scandals. Forget Fast and Furious. Who ever heard of Solyndra? One of Obama's top Democratic fundraisers ran MF Global into the ground. Who knew? Tingly Chris Matthews said Obama was "perfect" and "clean as a whistle" and has "never done anything wrong."

Some journalists still care more for Obama's image than they do about the truth. Time assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar greeted the IRS scandal by announcing on MSNBC, "What's so sad about it is the president has been very rightfully proud of the lack of scandal in his administration so far."

That could be a Jay Leno punch line.

On NPR's "Morning Edition," anchorman Steve Inskeep sounded like he'd been asleep like Rip Van Winkle for two years. He asserted to Cokie Roberts, "this administration has been described -- I don't even know how many times -- as remarkably scandal-free. But when you get into the second term of an administration, there's often some dirty laundry that comes out."

This is the same Steve Inskeep who gave Obama campaign manager David Axelrod a nine-minute interview on Oct. 11, one month after Benghazi -- and never raised the consulate murders at all.

Thanks to NPR, the "dirty laundry" stayed under the bed until Obama could be re-elected.

Apparently he buried it so well, he even he forgot the Benghazi scandal existed. Inskeep wrapped up the interview by comparing Obama to Lincoln in his reluctance to whack his opponent. "Abraham Lincoln, as historians have noted, had a habit of getting upset with someone, writing them a letter that might be a very strong letter, and then sticking it in a desk -- never sending it," Inskeep stated. "I'm interested if metaphorically, the president has been sticking a lot of letters in the desk?"

Now we know it was more along the lines of "Hello? IRS?"

Insert vomiting sound effects here. This is how NPR flagrantly demonstrates its mockery of the Public Broadcasting Act's long-ignored language about "objectivity and balance in all programming of a controversial nature." To them, Obama should be chiseled into Mount Rushmore even as he engages in breath-taking corruption to destroy his enemies.

If the media had acted like professionals in 2012, more of this new information would be old news by now. Voters could have made a decision between Obama and Romney with a fuller picture of how corrupt this administration truly is. By refusing to reveal that corruption, they brought that stain of corruption on themselves.

Some reporters in this moment are sounding like professionals. But too many reporters are spending too much time pining about how scandals may harm Obama's "legacy." Journalists shouldn't be demonstrating great care for Obama's historical reputation, like they're the White House weed-whackers.

Obama's legacy is becoming apparent. He laughably claimed to be above politics, above partisanship and dirty tricks -- when the facts are proving he's really the dirtiest pool player in today's politics. It's Chicago-style politics, day and night.

Obama’s Secret Army And Why We Should Fear It

by / Personal Liberty Digest

Obama’s Secret Army And Why We Should Fear It
“The people on the list might be me.” — Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), speaking during his March 6 filibuster about the “kill list” maintained by the Administration of President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has big plans to change the United States. Most frightening is that he can back up his Machiavellian plan with a personal army that targets any real or perceived enemies, even if it means killing American citizens without trial or arrest.

It is nothing new. Tyrants have employed personal armies for 2,000 years, beginning with Julius Caesar’s Praetorian Guard. Joseph Stalin wielded his Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) and Adolph Hitler had the infamous Schutzstaffel (SS). Obama commands the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

While the President didn’t create this hybrid of the military and CIA, it operates under his command.  JSOC is made up of the most elite soldiers in the world, and they follow Obama’s orders. The funding, which is in the billions of dollars, comes from taxpayers (the actual amount is classified); and there is zero Congressional oversight.

The commandos who make up JSOC were born from the ashes of Operation Eagle Claw, President Jimmy Carter’s failed rescue of American hostage held in Iran in 1980.

Headquartered at Pope Field and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, JSOC has already been woven into myth by the Obama Administration and popular media for the operations of one of its components: Navy SEAL Team 6, which killed Osama bin Laden.

The potential for even a good President to abuse force became apparent under the Ronald Reagan Administration, when JSOC was subsequently put on a tighter leash. But it was slipping under the radar even then. In 1993, one of JSOC’s most secretive missions was the disastrous raid against the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, which led to the deaths of 75 people, including 20 children and two pregnant women.

 

Nixon Had His Enemies List, Obama Has A ‘Hit List’

After 9/11, the neocons in the George W. Bush Administration decided America needed a sleek fighting force to combat enemy Islamic terrorists rather than the standardized armies that the Pentagon had established during the Cold War.

The military machinery of the past needed Congressional approval to wage war. As for the CIA, it, too, was constrained in 1975 when President Gerald Ford issued Executive Order 11905 banning the United States from undertaking “political assassinations.” Presidents who followed worked around this rule. After the Twin Towers fell, the Bush Administration followed through on the famous words of Vice President Dick Cheney: “If you want to fight the bad guys, you have to take the gloves off.”

For the most part, Cheney got his way, although he argues to this day that there was too much interference by Congress. Obama doesn’t make that claim and for good reason: He is free to execute his enemies, including American citizens, as he sees fit.

No doubt, the United States has a great deal of enemies; and those who are actively planning to murder and maim Americans need to be killed or captured. (If you have read my previous writings for Bob Livingston, you know I am no fan of Islam or Muslims who retain their religious roots while living in, and profiting from, the American way of life.)

But nothing gives Obama the right to be judge, jury and executioner against Americans he sees as his enemy.

By hook or by crook, the President has the perfect environment to press ahead with his tyranny. The Republican Party is so tied to its neoconservative ideals that Republicans actually complain that the President isn’t tough enough. At the same time, the Democratic Party, backed by the full weight of popular media, refuses to criticize anything Obama does. When it comes to murder, the President is beyond reproach (rather amazing when you consider Nixon was almost impeached for lying).

In his new book Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Scahill writes that Democrats would not tolerate such Presidential action from John McCain had he won the 2008 election. According to Scahill, Obama has been granted a blank check to vastly expand drone strikes while blatantly ignoring the Constitution by denying habeas corpus.

Before you dismiss my words as a right-wing rant, consider this warning from an influential Democrat. Michael Boyle, a professor at LaSalle University and former adviser to the Obama Campaign, wrote:
The creation of this “kill list” — as well as the dramatic escalation in drone strikes, which have now killed at least 2,400 people in Pakistan alone, since 2004 — represents a betrayal of President Obama’s promise to make counterterrorism policies consistent with the US constitution. …
[T]he president has routinized and normalized extrajudicial killing from the Oval Office, taking advantage of America’s temporary advantage in drone technology to wage a series of shadow wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Without the scrutiny of the legislature and the courts, and outside the public eye, Obama is authorizing murder on a weekly basis, with a discussion of the guilt or innocence of candidates for the “kill list” being resolved in secret on “Terror Tuesday” teleconferences with administration officials and intelligence officials.

Obama: Why Criminals Shouldn’t Have Guns

So how does the President get away with murder? As far as we know, he has authorized the execution of only two American citizens so far. (Apparently, the former Constitutional law professor believes arrests and trials are messy and time-consuming.)

Under Obama law, you don’t have to be innocent until proven guilty; you just need to be dead before being arrested. Such was the case for Anwar al-Awlaki, who was born in 1971 in New Mexico to parents who had recently emigrated from Yemen.

By all accounts, al-Awlaki seems to have grown up like a typical American boy. The last 10 years of his life are much disputed between radicals — both those in the Obama Administration who ordered his “hit” and the Muslims who denounced it.

What everyone agrees upon is that al-Awlaki became more and more radicalized because of what he considered a criminal occupation of Iraq by the United States. He seems to have been an opportunist with a magnetic personality and, for a time, he was a celebrity to his supporters (strangely enough that sounds like the President).

That al-Awlaki was mixed up with some bad characters or was a casual acquaintance with them is beyond dispute. (He was an imam to two of the 9/11 hijackers in San Diego, and he knew Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who executed 13 people during the Fort Hood shootings in November 2009.)

But some in U.S. intelligence believe that al-Awlaki was more of a wannabe jihadist than a real threat.  Of course, we will never know because in 2011, while he was in Yemen, two Predator drones fired Hellfire missiles, killing him and three other suspected al-Qaida members.

Just weeks later, his 17-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who was born in Denver, was killed by a drone along with nine others. According to Scahill, Obama was “upset” when he learned of the teenager’s death, which a former White House official called “a mistake.”

Oh well, these things happen.

Here is the rub: These things are not supposed to happen if you are an American citizen — not even for the elder al-Awlaki, who may have been inciting terror. When you stop denying one subset of Americans due process, you are on a slippery slope toward eliminating other Americans whom the President and his secret cabal classify as enemies. If you think I am making a huge leap in logic, consider what we learned last week: Obama’s Internal Revenue Service was targeting Tea Party groups before the 2012 election.

We should fear the blatant abuse of power by Obama and the unwillingness of Congress or anyone in the mainstream media to call him out on it.

It is possible that in the not too distant future we may find the President will find libertarians like us to also be the enemy. The Constitution protects us only if the President abides by it or if Congress and the people force him to abide by it. So far, Obama seems intent only on protecting his grand ambitions with nary an objection.

Yours in good times and bad,
Dick Morris: Using IRS Against Your Enemies an 'Impeachable Offense'
By Jim Meyers and John Bach
man / Newsmax


Veteran political analyst and best-selling author Dick Morris tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama "sure knew" about the IRS' policy of targeting conservative groups for scrutiny.

He also asserts that the IRS went so far as to audit Mitt Romney's donors during the presidential campaign.

Click on the link to see and hear Dick's interview:
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/irs-impeachable-offense-enemies/2013/05/14/id/504513?s=al&promo_code=137F4-1

And he says the Obama administration's snooping on Associated Press reporters is "very dangerous," and points to Obama's "Nixonian motivation."

Morris, a former top consultant to President Bill Clinton, now has a weekday talk show from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. online at DickMorris.com and on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Philadelphia.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV on Tuesday, Morris says "there's no doubt in my mind" that someone in the administration knew the IRS was targeting tea party and other conservative groups "because I knew about it. Everybody who is in politics who worked on at least the Republican side knew that the tea party groups were being audited. I gave speeches about it.

"Now I didn't know there was a memo from the top in the IRS saying audit these guys, but I knew they were being singled out for special attention. Everybody knew that. There's a front page story in the New York Times that said Romney donors were being audited.

"This stuff was no secret and the president is parsing words when he says he didn't know. What he's saying, maybe he didn't know about that specific memo from that specific person with that particular language, but he sure knew that there was a widespread policy of auditing Republican and conservative groups."

Asked what is more appalling, denials by Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller or the targeted scrutiny itself, Morris responds: "Always in Washington scandals you have the action and then you have the cover-up, and he's just about to start getting in trouble with the cover-up.

"But the policy of auditing people, the IRS using it as a weapon, goes back to Nixon and we already know that's grounds for impeachment. So when he says he didn’t know about it, his entire fate is now hanging on the strength of an email that somebody may or may not have sent."

Morris adds that the IRS scandal could actually lead to Obama's impeachment because "using the IRS as a tool to get your enemies is an impeachable offense.

"What's going to happen is you're going to get a congressional hearing. They're going to call some of these people under oath. They'll call Miller for example, the head of the IRS, they'll call [Douglas] Shulman, the former head of the IRS, and they'll ask did you know about this?

"Then the obvious question is who else knew? Who did you tell? I doubt that there's a lot of people who are willing to commit perjury to save the president, and undoubtedly what they'll say is, well, I told such and such in the White House. Then they'll get this person under oath and you just go step by step up the food chain.

"At the end of it, it's an impeachable offense, which is the key thing."

It's now been disclosed that the Justice Department snooped on Associated Press reporters' phone calls with administration officials and seized private phone records in connection with a probe into an unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

Could the scandal could lead to Attorney General Eric Holder's ouster?

"I don't know about that one way or the other because it depends on what Obama's tolerance is and also what [Holder] knows that he could spill and hurt Obama with," Morris says.

"Apparently they were trying to find out who leaked information about al-Qaida's involvement in Yemen.

"This investigation of leakers, which predominated during the Nixon era, becomes endless. It just goes on and on and it can lead to more and more seizures and intrusion with the free press and it's a very dangerous, slippery slope.

"The government's burden is to prove it had no other way of investigating this and I don't think they can meet that burden. This is going to be another big deal."

Asked if Obama is the most Nixonian president since Nixon himself, Morris tells Newsmax: "He certainly is acting that way.

"The common denominator here is the sense of an enemy, the sense of us against them. In Nixon's case, with the silent majority against the hippies; in this case, it's the 99 percent against the one percent.

"All's fair in class war, and that spawned a recklessness that got out of control. And Obama's management style, which is sort of laid back and non-interventionist, probably fed that. You have a unique combination here. You have Nixonian motivation and passion and Reaganesque attention to detail."

Turning to the probe of the Benghazi attacks on American diplomatic personnel, Morris notes that polls show the American people are not terribly interested in the issue.

But he observes: "These scandals take a long time to metastasize and they take a long time to seep through into public opinion. It will not happen quickly and it will happen toward the end of the process, not toward the beginning.

"Then there's another factor that we all have to consider, which is that you have in this country now 40 percent of the American people who will never think ill of Obama and never say that they have a bad opinion of him, not because of Obama but because of themselves.

"They look in the mirror, they’re black, Latino, single mothers, gay, students, and they say therefore I have to be for Obama or at least against the Republicans because they are against me.

"This sort of identity politics is stopping Obama from getting a high unfavorable [rating] and will continue to stop it until the Republican Party comes to its senses and starts reaching out to these groups and starts acting less exclusionary."

Op-ed: 
The timing says it all
By: Diane Sori

The games this White House plays just keep getting better and better as yet another diversion has popped up in Obama's effort to try and distract us from Benghazi...to try and distract us just as more whistleblowers are scheduled to give testimony...for 'suddenly and miraculously' this past Monday, one year after the events in question occurred, mega news giant, The Associated Press (AP), comes forward and discloses that the Justice Department had seized their phone records.

While this had to come out, the timing of this disclosure is just too coincidental to NOT be suspect and in a word, stinks.  And don't try to tell me the AP, known for their investigative reporting, just found out about this seizing of records now...they didn't and they know we know they didn't.

But I digress...The AP says that just months before last November's presidential election (if you call that usurping an election), Eric 'Fast & Furious' Holder's Justice Department stormed into the main AP office and seized two months worth of more than 20 reporters and editors incoming phone records, cell records, and personal phone records, and also seized records for the main AP number in the House of Representatives press gallery...seized in a deliberately calculated intrusion on the First Amendment right to a free press...and did so without giving rhyme or reason for the seizure or the AP knowing if a judge or grand jury had signed off on needed warrants.
In a report to Holder criticizing the records seizure, AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt called the Justice Department's actions “a massive and unprecedented intrusion into how news organizations gather the news."

Further saying, “There can be no possible justification for such an overboard collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters"...“These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the news gathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s news gathering operations and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

Of course he's right but there's that timing issue again as Benghazi, as it should, throws a shadow over all...a shadow that mustn't be ignored.

And as expected the White House says they had NO knowledge of this event or any of the other scandals coming forward...and if you believe that I've got some swamp land to sell you for even 'Prince' Harry Reid is denouncing this seizure along with the recently, as in last Friday, disclosed and admitted IRS targeting of conservative groups for additional screening of tax-exempt applications right before the election, saying "these actions are NOT partisan matters but Constitutional matters".

Constitutional matters..but...but during yesterday's hastily arranged press conference, Eric Holder looked straight into the camera and said the Justice Department "had a right to seize the records and trample on the Constitution" because last year the AP put American lives on the line when their wire service revealed details of a foiled plot to detonate a bomb on a US-bound airplane.

Saying that trying to determine who at the AP was the one responsible for the leak required aggressive action, Holder added that this was one of the “top two or three most serious leaks I’ve ever seen.”

Now ain't that something because we all know that if a terrorist attack had really been thwarted Obama would have been all over the television taking credit for it...narcissist that he is.

But even more unsettling than a questionable foiled terrorist attack...even more unsettling than any possible leak...is that United States Attorney General Eric Holder said that the government had a "right to trample on the Constitution".

NO FREAKIN' WAY! Neither the government nor Barack HUSSEIN Obama himself have any right for any reason to trample on the United States Constitution...NO right at all...EVER!

In fact, NO legitimate government dedicated to serving the people they actually work for would feel that way, but the Obama government doesn't give a damn about the rights of 'We the People' for they don't give a damn about the rights guaranteed us in the Constitution, because they simply don't give a damn about the Constitution itself.

Don't think I can make it any clearer than that.

And isn't it odd that Holder has now stepped aside...recusing himself from the investigation...claiming he's unfamiliar with the current status and details of the ongoing probe...yet still defending the probe...still defending the Justice Department's actions...almost like the ghosts of 'Fast & Furious' coming back to haunt.

And that timing issue keeps rearing its head yet again and again...calculated timing used to deflect all scandals away from the White House...away from Obama.  Timing used to protect his job at all costs even if it means this newest scandal will be used in helping to cover-up the murder of four Americans.

But could the AP's disclosure, even with its bad timing, possibly be the wake-up call for the mainstream media to finally accept the fact that they're also targets of this nefarious administration.  How I wish it were so but I know the sad reality is that they must protect their 'savior' NO matter the cost...after all, they created the myth and must see it through for if Obama falls they fall with him.