Friday, May 31, 2013

**FILE** President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius leave the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on Feb. 10, 2012, after the president announced the revamp of his contraception policy requiring religious institutions to fully pay for birth control. (Associated Press)GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius’ ‘Obamacare’ fundraising

Senior Republican senators on Thursday asked the Health and Human Services’ inspector general to investigate Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ fundraising drive to promote the new health care law — a practice ethics specialists have said is anything from a legal stretch to a shakedown for cash.

In a letter to Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson, the top GOP senators on three influential committees asked if Mrs. Sebelius broke any laws or violated ethics guidelines by soliciting insurance companies and other health care industry entities to contribute to a nonprofit that says it will educate Americans about the health law.

“These activities call into question whether appropriations and ethics laws are being followed,” said the letter signed by Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican and the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Watchdogs and good-government groups disagree over whether Mrs. Sebelius violated federal laws by seeking funds on behalf of a nonprofit group, called Enroll America, to promote “Obamacare,” but all say asking private companies and entities to financially support the rollout of the massive and complex law raises serious ethical questions for the Obama administration, which is already reeling from a string of recent controversies.

The administration and its critics were also sparring over whether Mrs. Sebelius was targeting private companies and other groups that she would soon be regulating as part of the health bill, or that could be in line for contracts to help implement the law.

“Obviously, there’s an appearance problem,” said Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “If she was soliciting for a Girl Scout troop in her neighborhood — something totally unrelated to health care — I don’t think you would have these questions, but she is charged with implementing the most significant health care changes in a generation.”

Cleta Mitchell, a Republican elections and ethics attorney, said the HHS effort amounted to a precedent-setting government intimidation campaign targeting private companies and entities.

“This is really quite scandalous,” she said. “The government is soliciting money from companies regulated by those doing the soliciting. [There is] nothing like a regulator asking for ‘voluntary’ contributions.”

Mr. Obama’s former campaign backers set up Enroll America as a nonprofit geared to pitch the health law to the public, and to encourage citizens to sign up for benefits.

HHS officials have confirmed that since March, Mrs. Sebelius directly solicited donations from tax preparation giant H&R Block and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a nonprofit that supports anti-obesity and other health outreach campaigns. H&R Block has yet to respond to the appeal, but the foundation has donated a total of $14 million to Enroll America, although it hasn’t said how much of that was in response to Mrs. Sebelius’ appeals.

Mrs. Sebelius’ efforts on behalf of Enroll America, which is made up of Obama campaign loyalists, are stoking additional concerns over the new ways Mr. Obama is using outside campaign-style groups to promote his agenda.

Shortly after the 2012 campaign was over, his campaign committee morphed into an independent nonprofit group run by campaign manager Jim Messina and aimed at supporting the president’s legislative agenda. Organizing for Action, as the group dubbed itself, can accept unlimited donations.

Republicans say the Sebelius fundraising drive may violate the federal “anti-deficiency” act, which prohibits government agencies from accepting voluntary services or donations. But HHS officials contend that a section of the Public Service Act specifically permits the secretary to ask outside companies and entities to write checks to support health programs.

Craig Holman, an ethics specialist at Public Citizen, said Mrs. Sebelius’ initiative is likely protected under the Public Service Act because the law provides specific allowances for HHS officials to accept gifts as long as the funds are being used specifically to carry out the agency’s function — and implementing the president’s health care law is clearly part of its mandate.

Even if it’s legal, however, Mr. Holman calls the fundraising idea “very problematic.”

“It’s problematic that we have a federal law that allows Sebelius to apply pressure on those she regulates to chip in to promote Obamacare,” he said. “Even though they have a stake in getting more people to enroll, they may or may not disagree with the rest of the program.”

Republicans are calling for more details to be released.

Last week, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to more than a dozen companies, including top insurers, to ask whether anyone at HHS tried to solicit funds from them to support the overhaul.

In their letter Thursday, the three senators cited a recent Washington Post editorial that accused Mrs. Sebelius of “dancing around serious ethical lines.”

“We believe the [office of inspector general] is well-positioned to impartially examine any and all evidence regarding these practices on the part of Secretary Sebelius or other HHS officials,” they wrote.

It’s Time To Fire Eric Holder

by / Personal Liberty Digest

It’s Time To Fire Eric Holder
Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on judicial oversight on May 15.
Did the Attorney General of the United States commit perjury when he appeared before the House Judiciary Committee two weeks ago? It sure looks like it.

Eric Holder was testifying about the growing scandal over the Justice Department’s seizure of telephone records of some Associated Press reporters and editors. Representative Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), one of the committee members, asked him if the Justice Department thought it could use the Espionage Act of 1917 to prosecute reporters.

Holder offered what appeared to be a straightforward reply. He said, “In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

Ah, but we later learned that is precisely what Holder’s agency had done against James Rosen, a reporter for FOX News. The Justice Department warrant authorizing the seizure of Rosen’s emails declared that there was “probable cause” to believe the reporter violated the Espionage Act “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.”

Based on this extraordinary accusation, a Federal judge agreed to the Justice Department’s request for a secret search warrant for Rosen’s private Gmail account. And guess what? The person who signed the Justice Department affidavit making those allegations was none other than the head man himself, Holder.

And while some of Holder’s defenders claim that he had just scribbled his signature on a whole bunch of papers his staff put in front of him, apparently this isn’t true either. Several reports say that he “carefully vetted” the Rosen paperwork.

It appears that the top boss at Justice knew exactly what he was doing when he ordered the surreptitious search of a reporter’s emails. So much for Holder’s claim that this is “not something I’ve ever been involved in.” As Desi Arnaz used to say to Lucille Ball, the Attorney General has “got some ’splainin’ to do.”

Of course, this was also the case three years ago, when Congress tried to find out what went wrong in Operation Fast and Furious. You’ll recall that this was a botched effort by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace how weapons went from the United States to Mexican drug cartels. Some 2,000 firearms went missing from the program. One of those weapons subsequently was used in Arizona to kill U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry.

Congressional investigators looking into the fiasco asked Holder to give them certain documents relating to the Fast and Furious program, since ATF is a part of the Justice Department. When he refused, they served him with a subpoena demanding them. President Barack Obama then asserted executive privilege, and the Administration refused to surrender them.

As a result, the House of Representatives voted to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress. To no one’s surprise, the Justice Department refused to prosecute the case.

The Administration was able to protect its guy back then. But even many Democrats are starting to question Holder’s veracity now. Representative John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, says he is “deeply troubled” by some of the Justice Department’s actions. But he’s willing to give Holder the benefit of the doubt… at least for now.

“Certainly, it is fair to ask additional questions about the Rosen investigation, and any role the attorney general may have played in it,” Conyers said in a statement. Then he added, “[B]ut I do not believe it credible to level charges that he may have intentionally misled the committee on this matter before we know the facts of the case in question.”

So what will the facts ultimately reveal? Did the Attorney General perjure himself this time around? Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) is one of many people who seem to think so. He said, “There’ve been other people over the years indicted for perjury or tried for perjury on a lot less evidence than that.”

The House Judiciary Committee has sent Holder a letter, asking him to explain the apparent discrepancy between his actions against Rosen and what he told the committee when he testified under oath on May 15. Representative Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.), the committee chairman, said, “We will withhold judgment on what the attorney general’s actions constitute until we give an opportunity for him to explain himself.”

Even Obama said a couple of days ago that he is “troubled” about these apparent assaults on the freedom of the press by the Justice Department. But, hey, not to worry: He is going to ask Holder to investigate matters and report back to him.

In other words, the President will ask the fox to look into what’s been happening in the chicken coop. That should make everyone feel better, shouldn’t it?

One liberal law professor has had enough. In a powerful column in USA Today, Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, said that a hallmark of Holder’s service as attorney general has been his unquestioned loyalty to Obama:

“When the president promised CIA employees early in his first term that they would not be investigated for torture, it was the attorney general who shielded officials from prosecution.

“When the Obama Administration decided it would expand secret and warrantless surveillance, it was Holder who justified it.

“When the president wanted the authority to kill any American he deemed a threat without charge or trial, it was Holder who went public to announce the ‘kill list’ policy.”

But now, Turley says, the Justice Department has gone too far. “The attorney general has done little in his tenure to protect civil liberties or the free press,” the law professor wrote. “Rather, Holder has supervised a comprehensive erosion of privacy rights, press freedom and due process.”

Turley says the Justice Department’s sweeping surveillance of journalists represents “the greatest attack on the free press in decades.” And he has had enough. “I am neither a Republican nor conservative,” he declared, “and I believe Holder should be fired.”

Right now, the Attorney General is scrambling to protect himself. While he claims that the Justice Department hasn’t violated any laws or guidelines, he admits that the rules “need to be updated.” And he called the controversy “an opportunity for the department to consider how we strike the right balance between the interests of law enforcement and freedom of the press.”

Nice try, Holder, but it won’t work. Better dust off your resume and start exploring opportunities in the private sector, as the soon-to-be-departed like to say. Looks like we can color you gone. And it’s about time.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

Obama Is In Charge; This Is on Him 

By: David Limbaugh / Townhall Columnist 

Well, let's see. Obama promised to get the economy moving, greatly improve our health care system and reduce its costs, give us the most transparent government, and usher in a new era of bipartisanship and racial harmony.
Some 4 1/2 years into Obama's presidency, his economy is still as lethargic as a basset hound, and we're seeing disastrous developments on Obamacare. A smorgasbord of major scandals is unfolding, and we've got record levels of partisan angst and heightened racial tensions stoked by this administration.

So many shocking stories are emerging that we probably miss half of them. Did you see the Washington Post report about how Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius personally asked health industry groups to contribute to Enroll America, a pro-Obamacare front group that is, according to The Heritage Foundation, working to "educate" the public about the law's supposed benefits?

Obama and his band of fellow liberal ideologues have an agenda of fundamentally transforming America, and they're sticking to it -- no matter what kind of problems it creates, corruption and lies it entails, or disharmony it generates among Americans.

Perhaps this is another reason Obama never bothers to admit, much less apologize for, his failures. In his mind, his agenda is moving forward and that's what matters. The plethora of scandals and the myriad economic and health care failures may be an annoyance to him, but in the end, he's getting his way. If things don't change, we are moving rapidly toward statism overall and toward a single-payer health insurance system. To paraphrase him, "it may take 15 years, but we'll get there."

Meanwhile, the "What, me worry?" president is, yet again, busy fundraising and campaigning in his hometown of Chicago, insisting to his adoring die-hard fans that "Washington is not broken" and that he could not be more eager for Democrats to recapture control of the House in order to have Nancy Pelosi back as speaker. Not only is Obama not contrite but he wants more authority.

Obama seemingly has endless time to play golf, take vacations and hopscotch the United States on Air Force One to fundraise and campaign, but he's too busy to know or even be bothered about an unfolding crisis in Benghazi, the deliberate alteration of talking points to mislead the press and public about the cause of the consulate attack, the selective targeting of conservative groups by an unscrupulous Internal Revenue Service (which just so happened to do his bidding in successfully suppressing Republican voter turnout), and the criminal investigation of innocent journalists.

It's one thing for Obama not to be a details man, but how about a little focus -- or even a superficial awareness -- on very serious matters?

What we are seeing from Obama (and his administration) is what we should expect from a person who has been mostly a political agitator and activist for his entire adult life, without any experience in rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty in actually solving the problems.

His style of governance is best-depicted by his frustrated utterance at the failure of BP to plug the Gulf oil leak fast enough to suit him: "Just plug the damn hole."

Obama doesn't really understand how business or even government works, but it doesn't keep him from making specific promises he doesn't know he can keep.

He repeatedly asserted, unequivocally, that Obamacare would bend the cost curve down and wouldn't infringe on religious liberty. He told us that if we liked our insurance plan, we would be able to keep it.

Have you been reading the headlines lately? "Obamacare Is Driving Some Doctors To Stop Taking Insurance Altogether." "In California, Obamacare to Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums by 64-146 Percent." "ObamaCare to trigger health insurance cancellation notices." "Like your health care policy? You may be losing it." "Obamacare's Liberty-Crushing Mandate in Court."

Could it be that the public is finally waking up and at least willing to reconsider its foolish blindness to this administration? A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that American voters say -- by a 76-17 percent margin, including 63-30 percent among Democrats -- that a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate charges that the IRS targeted conservative groups.

Further, voters aren't keen on Attorney General Eric Holder's investigating the matter himself, and he has only a 23-29 percent job approval rating. As Holder is President Obama's alter ego, this is significant.

But what we've yet to see is Obama himself being held accountable for his fraudulent promises, his policy failures and this staggering corruption.

Like it or not, these things are his doing. He is in charge; he is the one who made the false promises; he established the policy goals that are to be achieved at almost any cost; and he has created the climate leading to this lawlessness. In the modern vernacular, this is on him.

A short quiz you must take...and I bet most will miss all of these

Communism is creeping in one step at a time, exactly as planned
By: Lynnie Sager

Six trivia questions to see how much history you know. Be honest, it's kinda fun and revealing. If you don't know the answer make your best guess. Answer all the questions (no peeking) before looking at the answers.

Who said it?...

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few...... And to replace it with shared responsibility ,,,,,for shared prosperity."

A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We) .....can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."

A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own ... in order to create this common ground."

A. Mao Tse Tung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."

A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above
Scroll down for answers


(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005

Wanna know something scary? She may be the next socialist president if you don't forward this to everyone that you know.
The scandals might do what the voting booth couldn't
By: Diane Sori
We all know the federal government has grown even more fat and complacent than it already was, that it doesn’t answer to ‘We the People’, and that it concentrates power in the hands of a few corrupt lying individuals…individuals like Attorney General Eric ‘Fast & Furious’ Holder, former Secretary of State Hillary ‘What does it matter’ Clinton, and of course Chicago bully, liberal media anointed ‘savior’ of us all Barack HUSSEIN ‘I don’t know what my administration does’ Obama.

And we all know that ‘Bumps in the Road’ (a phrase now come back to haunt) like Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the AP scandal, and the FOX reporter scandal (and who knows what other scandals wait in the wings) show this administration’s total disregard for our Constitution and for ‘We the People’, but maybe, just maybe, these scandals will do what the voting booth couldn’t…for maybe now the time has finally come when those who dishonor both America and the American people will finally be called to task and taken down.

And that taking down just might have started with three whistleblowers coming forward in regards to Benghazi with more wanting to testify. At the end of the House Oversight Committee Benghazi hearings two weeks ago, two former diplomats implied that they have additional information about what happened that fateful night that goes beyond what whistleblowers Greg Hicks, Eric Nordstrom, and Mark Thompson had already given...information that is potentially NOT only damaging but devastating to both Obama and Clinton. But as expected they need legal protection before they can speak and you can’t blame them as repercussions have already happened to the three who already testified, including job demotions.

Now into the scandal mix comes Lois Lerner, the just put on administrative leave Director of the IRS Tax Exempt Organization…former whistleblower turned person of interest turned suspect and presumed fall gal for Obama. As the woman who basically ratted out her co-workers by issuing a public apology just days before the IRS inspector general was going to issue a report detailing the IRS’s use of keywords (like Tea Party and patriot ) to tag for additional scrutiny conservative groups applying for 501(c)4 tax-exempt status, it's now been proven that Lerner's apology was staged. Planting a question with a member of the audience that required her to respond with an apology allowed Lerner to set the stage to deflect blame from and protect higher-ups…higher-ups as in Barack HUSSEIN Obama, perhaps.

And then throw in something the in-the-pocket for Obama liberal media NEVER saw coming …something that completely blindsided them…for the very media that helped Obama steal an election suddenly was in his cross hairs and they had NO idea why.

Well, the why is really quite simple for narcissistic blowhards like Obama and his minions will NOT allow their flunkies to upstage them, because people like Obama and those who orbit around him believe everything is all about them. So the reason why can be put into one simple word…retaliation… retaliation because the previously Obama-friendly AP (Associated Press) wouldn’t let the Obama administration gloat about a ‘supposed’ counter terrorism victory.

The AP was holding off on printing a story about a foiled al-Qaeda plot (a plot that centered on an attempt to get a bomb into an assailant’s underwear that could pass airport screening) for a few days at the request of CIA officials. Eventually it was decided that they would run the story on a certain day, but with the deadline fast approaching were now suspiciously asked by CIA officials to hold off on publishing the story for just one more day.

The CIA cited national security concerns as the reason for once again asking for a delay in publication, but the truth was that the delay was wanted so that the Obama administration could announce the successful operation instead of the AP reporting what was their story from the get-go.

The AP said, ‘NO way’, that they had acquiesced to the CIA long enough as there was NO national security issues to contend with, and proceeded to publish the story on the day they said they would, thus denying Obama and his people the chance to puff themselves up once again for something they did NOT do…just like Obama did NOT take out Osama.

So the AP had to be taught a lesson…you don’t mess with Obama and NOT expect some retaliation.

Well guess what, instead of the Obama administration being able to gloat over their retaliation, the media came together to say this time Obama and crew overstepped their bounds in denying them their right to a free press…who’d have thunk it.

And finally add in FOX News reporter James Rosen being investigated in an affidavit signed off on by none other than 'Mr. Fast & Furious' himself...Rosen being deemed a criminal for ‘supposedly’ leaking information about North Korea given to him by a whistleblower...Holder saying Rosen broke the law by jeopardized national security (in NO way was national security ever jeopardized)...and Holder saying that criminal charges against Rosen could shortly be filed...and you now have one very unhappy, angry, pissed off media.

And I must admit that I’m happy the media is pissed, for maybe they'll finally see the monster they created for what he is…a nightmare…a nightmare that hopefully now they can help America finally wake up from.

So bring on the scandals for maybe these scandals and all the media attention they garner will be the hoped for end of NOT only a lying contemptuous Attorney General named Eric Holder and a arrogant self-serving former Secretary of State, but will also do what couldn’t be done at the voting booth…give a one-way ticket out of the White House to a man who had NO business occupying that White House in the first place…and wouldn’t have succeeded if the very media now in his cross hairs hadn’t anointed him as the ‘savior’ of us all.

Payback is a bitch and it just might be the media that bitch-slaps Obama but good.